Traders at Sheffield’s Moor Market pass on their knowledge

McCauley Foster, Paul Thorpe, Chris Smallwood and Tom Galley of Slattery's Butchers
McCauley Foster, Paul Thorpe, Chris Smallwood and Tom Galley of Slattery's Butchers

Traders on the Moor Market are handing their skills and knowledge down to the next generation thanks to an apprenticeship scheme.

About a dozen apprentices are being shown the ropes on stalls at the new market while getting on-the-job training from The Source Academy.

One of the apprentices is 16-year-old McCaulay Foster, who has taken on a role with Slattery’s Family Butchers.

His boss, John Galley – who has been a butcher for 33 years – said: “There are some really good opportunities for young people in butchery, it’s a highly skilled trade and there aren’t enough trainees coming through.

“We’re a traditional carcass butchers so McCaulay is lucky.

“He’ll get to know everything there is to know, from making sausages to boning out.

“Supermarkets can’t provide the knowledge and expertise on everything like we can.

“So far McCaulay has learned about setting the meat out in trays and how to deal with customers.

“He’s learning fast and showing a lot of potential, and he’s already had a knife in his hand which is a good achievement at this stage.

“He’s a very good lad. I would be looking at a couple of years before he’s a fully qualified butcher.

“I prefer to recruit people who I can train up from scratch.

“I’ve got high standards and I like things done my way, so that way I know they’re doing things the way I’ve taught them.”

McCaulay said: “I just saw that they wanted an apprentice and I thought I would give it a try.

“It’s pretty good, I’m enjoying it. It’s always busy and there’s always something for me to do.”

Elsewhere on the market, apprentices are working in fruit and veg, pet supplies and in the market office.

Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore said: “This is an excellent example of how apprenticeships can benefit small businesses as well as larger organisations.”

Apprenticeships are open to people of any age and are particularly suited to those between 16 and 18 as an opportunity to step into the world of work.

They are employed by a market trader and the length of their apprenticeship is typically 12 months.

The scheme is supported by the National Market Traders’ Federation.