Judges debate at the 2019 WorldSkills UK butchery heat, held at Reaseheath

Our industry standard butchery craft facilities are to be the venue for this year’s Butchery WorldSkills UK LIVE finals.

Seven butchers from across England, Wales and Ireland will be seeking to win the prestigious competition, to be held on November 11 and 12. The butchery finals are usually part of a national celebration of vocational training and skills, held centrally in Birmingham, which annually attracts thousands of spectators. Last year this was cancelled due to Covid-19 and this year it is being judged at sector finals in specialist locations throughout the UK.

The finalists were selected from virtual heats in which they were judged online from their workplace or home.

They are:

  • Jason Edwards (Littlers Butchers, Northwich)
  • Codie Jo Carr (Emersons Supermarket, Armagh)
  • Ethan Hubbard and Ben Tindale (G. Shearer & Son Butchers, Lincolnshire)
  • Ben Roberts (M. E. Evans Traditional Butchers, Overton on Dee)
  • Richard Silverman (The Lambing Shed Farm Shop, Knutsford)
  • Jonah Clarke (M & W Farm Meats, Portadown)

Jason, aged 27, and Codie-Jo, 19, were finalists in 2019, with Jason finishing in bronze medal position.

Ethan, 17, will compete alongside his 32 year-old manager Ben Tindale, who has worked in the industry for 15 years and is aiming to increase his experience of competitive butchery.

Ben Roberts, a 29 year-old shop manager, is a member of the Craft Butchery Team Wales and has worked in the meat industry for 12 years.

Richard, 41, is a meat specialist and department manager and has been in the industry for five years. A former personal trainer, he requalified as a butcher after relocating from London to Manchester.

Jonah, 22, and Codie Jo are both working towards apprenticeships.

The judges of the 2021 virtual heats were independent consultant Viv Harvey and Keith Fisher, Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat, who will also judge the live finals.

We previously hosted a WorldSkills UK butchery regional heat in 2019.

Reaseheath’s Master butcher Gary Evans said: “I’m very pleased and proud that our facilities have been recognised as top class by industry opinion formers and have been selected as the venue for this prestigious national final. I’d like to thank colleagues in the Food Centre and throughout college who have gone the extra mile to support this important event.”

Organised by training provider Cambrian Training, the Butchery WorldSkills UK competition is supported by an Industry Steering Group and sponsored by The Institute of Meat, The National Craft Butchers, The Worshipful Company of Butchers, Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales and further supported by FDQ.

The competition focuses on the multiple skills required for a successful butchery career within the food manufacturing industry. Marks are awarded for overall skill, innovation, creativity, presentation, work ethic, method and approach to tasks, waste free use of carcass and safe and hygienic working practice.