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New Meating Needs program combines apprentice training and charity

Meating Needs, a program initiated by Angliss Meat Processing teachers Peter O'Rourke and Russell Carroll, aims to upskill butcher apprentices while helping those in need.

"As the meat industry evolves, and with an increasing reliance on pre-packaged meat, William Angliss Institute recognises the need to provide apprentice butcher experience in boning beef. This charitable initiative enables our apprentices and teachers to contribute to the welfare of the community while empowering apprentice butchers to develop essential skills and gain a deeper understanding of the meat supply chain," explained Peter.

BeefBank donates the meat while the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) and Corona Manufacturing donate the packaging to make up meals such as diced beef and beef sausages.

"Each apprentice is tasked with boning two beef carcasses. They learn the bone structure of a carcass, and how to identify the main cuts of meat including the loin and rib among other units not common in their workplace, giving them comprehensive knowledge and skills required for the boning task," Peter said.

Once the various meat products are ready, they are packaged and donated to FoodBank which works with 2,844 front-line charities and 3,379 school breakfast programs to provide meals to those who need a hand.

Across the first three sessions of Meating Needs program to date, Angliss butcher apprentices contributed to approximately 1000 kg of processed meat being donated to FoodBank equating to 10,000 meals.

Apprentice Butcher Upskilling

Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher) Angliss student Nick Nestorowski gave up his time from work at Werribee Station Street Meats to participate in the Meating Needs program last month.

"I was keen to take part after my teacher Russell explained that I would receive extensive training in the art of boning four beef hindquarters and four beef forequarters," said Nick.

"Boning beef is not so common in butcher shops these days so it's important for upcoming apprentices like me to learn this skill. It was a good learning experience plus it was a good feeling knowing that the meals I made up and packaged were donated to charity," he added.

Open to all Angliss students studying the Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher), multiple two-day sessions will run throughout the year, accommodating apprentices at different stages of their training.

William Angliss Institute has a commitment to collaborating with industry to enhance the student learning experience.

This program is made possible by sponsorship from BeefBank and Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) and industry partners Foodbank, MINTRAC and Corona Manufacturing

For those interested in an introduction to meat processing, William Angliss Institute offers the Certificate II in Meat Processing (Food Services) under the Victorian Government's Free TAFE for Priority Pathways initiative. This can then lead to undertaking the Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher).

To learn more about our courses, or to apply, contact or call +613 8595 5334 for more information.

Published 2 February 2024