Young apprentice butchers sought by award-winning Keelham Farm Shop

Opportunities for learning and practising the highly skilled trade of traditional master butchery are rare, but apprenticeships are being offered to young people with a passion for food, from field to fork, at Keelham Farm Shop in Thornton.

Keelham Farm Shop, winner of ‘Butcher’s Shop of the Year’ at the 2012 Farm shop of the Year awards and finalist in the ‘Best on Farm Butchery’ category at the FARMA Awards 2012/2011, has been helping to keep traditional butchery skills alive for over 40 years. These apprenticeships are an opportunity for young people to join an award winning butchery team in a multi award winning, growing company.

Customers are increasingly turning to local butchers whose supply chains and provenance they can trust. As a result, professionally trained, skilled and knowledgeable butchers have become highly prized and an apprenticeship in butchery ““ often overlooked by young people ““ is a rewarding opportunity.

Susan Thomas, People Manager at Keelham Farm Shop commented:
“Our apprenticeships really are a fantastic opportunity to learn the trade in a busy, thriving, retail environment. Every week, we buy all our beef cattle and other animals from local markets and this year we have purchased every single prime cattle champion at Skipton, so our butchers know that they’re working with the best possible local meat. When it reaches the shop, the meat is prepared by our butchers who have over 250 years of butchery experience between them. They’re also able to advise customers on the best cuts, how to cook them and to suggest ideas for great-tasting family meals.

“Butchery at Keelham is far more than just slicing and dicing and we are looking for young apprentices who have a real passion for food. We will reward them with a supportive environment where they can experience personal growth, for example we’ve had one of our apprentices represent England at the International Young Butcher Competition (IYBC) in Holland. In addition, they’ll get a fulfilling career which allows them to interact with customers face-to-face, and a higher rate of pay than the national apprentice wage, as well as a range of Keelham team benefits.”

Apprentice butchers will work towards achieving NVQ Level 2, with one day a week spent in education at acclaimed Leeds City College. Further information about the apprenticeships is available from “” or contact Susan Thomas at Keelham Farm Shop ** who can explain more about the Keelham scheme.

Quick applications are encouraged for those wishing to begin this autumn term at College but there also are start dates through the academic year which means that anyone with an interest should apply now.