With over 900,000 young people, aged 16 -24, unemployed in the UK, Fodder, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society's flagship food hall, is urging young people to consider butchery as a promising and viable career path.
A survey released earlier this year to mark National Butchers' Week revealed that around two out of three butchers are facing succession difficulties, meaning that without younger generations learning the ropes of this career, they are at risk of disappearing.
Therefore, it is no surprise that the number of high street butchers dropped from some 22,000 in the mid-90s to a staggering 6,553 in 2012, according to Ed Bedington, Editor of the Meat Trades Journal.
Many butchers are desperate for eager young people to learn the skills of the trade and continue the art of traditional British butchery that is in danger of being lost. We've seen a huge decline in butchers over the last ten years and much of this is due to the lack of younger generations moving into the industry to continue the treasured traditions and skills found in a good butcher.
The butchery trade needs to broaden its appeal to young people and one of the ways of doing that is offering apprenticeships and giving young people a viable career, developing skills and gaining qualifications. They learn the basics at college but it is here, behind the butchery counter, they can build on this knowledge and gain the customer service skills necessary to be a great butcher.Paul Nicholson, Master Butcher at Fodder
To encourage young people to see the opportunities available to them within the meat trade, Fodder is working with Leeds City College's Thomas Danby campus to offer apprenticeships to students studying Butchery Retail Skills.
Over their 18 month course, budding young butchers work alongside Master Butcher Paul Nicholson gaining first hand experience of butchery in a busy retail environment.
Pictured are Sam Hurran (former apprentice now full time butcher at Fodder), Paul Nicholson (Master Butcher at Fodder) and Callum Milne (current apprentice).
For more information visit www.fodderweb.co.uk