South Australian butcher gets kids engaged in meaty careers.

Date : 2015-09-23 10:04:15

Students Erin Hadden and Tyson Fullgrabe who are enrolled in the course. Picture: Naomi J

Students Erin Hadden and Tyson Fullgrabe who are enrolled in the course. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe Source: News Limited

SOUTH Australian students learning the butchery trade are already carving out new careers.

Eight Adelaide Hills year 10 and 11 students are enrolled in the first after-school product-to-plate butchery course and it’s been so successful that six have already found work, including Tyson Fullgrabe, 16.

On Monday, the Murray Bridge teenager started his apprenticeship as a butcher at Stirling Variety Meats.

“I just wanted to do something hands-on,” said an excited Tyson during his first workday lunch break. “I didn’t think about the outcome, but got the good news on Friday. I got this job because of this course.”

The product-to-plate concept of a term of free weekly classes was initiated by local smallgoods maker, now volunteer teacher, Anthony Skara, who credits networking with other butchers for the idea.

“We are all struggling to fill young butcher positions, and the shortfall in skilled workers is growing,” said Mr Skara, who admits work in a butcher shop is not a popular notion among young people.

He is capturing their interest by teaching them about cuts of meat, knife skills, boning and sausage and smallgoods making, insisting that “young people don’t want to read about choices, they want to get in there and experience them”.

“Here, they can be creative, develop new smallgoods flavours, perhaps be entrepreneurs and start their own businesses.

“It’s also good for businesses looking for the right apprentices.”

Eastern Fleurieu School, Oakbank Area School, Adelaide Hills Vocational College and Heathfield High School students participated in the first course, which culminates in a market of tastings and sales at Skara Smallgoods, in Totness (near Mt Barker), from 10am-2pm on Saturday.

The course has had support from MBL Food Services, the Food and Beverage Development Fund, Spotless, TafeSA and the Education and Child Development Department.