Crosby is a well-known name in the butchery industry, with good reason. They care.
Their passion for the industry never wavers; this is proven year after year, by the impact they have in the industry, continuously progressing many people within it, to keep it thriving for many years to come.
Crosby Butchery Training (CBT) is a trading name of Crosby Management Training Limited which was established on 15th December 1997 when its name was Walter Smith Training Ltd. On 15th December 2022, Crosby celebrated 25 years of delivering training within the meat industry. CBT is based at Wolverhampton University’s Science Park but most of its training is delivered on-site at retail butchers, catering butchers, wholesalers, and meat processing premises all around the country, from Carlisle to Cornwall. Since it enrolled the country’s first three Butchery Standard apprentices in 2015 it is now delivering to all sizes of organisations around the country and has trained apprentices from ages 16 to 72 years of age.
Over the last 18 months, CBT has had the success of Harry Stokes, the youngest retail butcher to pass his Level 2 Butchery EPA. Craig Henderson, manager at Walter Smith Fine Foods (WSFF) was the first to achieve the highest results in both his Level 2 & 3 apprenticeships and most recently, Amelia Dayson, who was the youngest female to pass her Level 2 Butcher Apprenticeship. This alone shows the dedication Crosby has to achieve not just results, but quality results.
Amelia Dayson, Level 3 Advanced Butcher at Firths Quality Meats
In 2021 Crosby Butchery trainers worked with the Institute for Apprenticeships, Worshipful Company of Butchers, FDQ & OAL to gain EPA flexibilities for the Butchery apprenticeship End-Point Assessment. This meant many butchers across the country (not just at Crosby) were able to gain their qualifications, leading to promotions and wider success – showing selfless dedication for many upcoming butchers who suffered challenging times regarding their apprenticeships as a result of Covid.
Crosby’s apprentices and students regularly compete and win industry awards in addition to achieving their apprenticeships. The passion to continue nominating their apprentices in awards derives from knowing how much this means to the individual and the impact it can have on their careers later on down the line. In 2022 their very own Head of Butchery Delivery (Chris Riley, who started as an apprentice at WSFF in 2009 – aged 16) was a finalist for Young Manager of the Year at the Meat Management Awards. At the awards, they invited a couple of current apprentices (Ben Overson & Sam Garson-Pilbeam) to join their table. Showing them the opportunities that are possible within the industry, through continued hard work, commitment, and dedication.
Quality is at the heart of everything at Crosby, from the practical training and reviews conducted by the trainers to the external opportunities such as abattoir visits and residential challenges, holding the goal to expand their learner’s knowledge wider than the standards. Providing apprentices with the farm-to-fork experience creates knowledge which is fed back into the customers at our shops, in turn, expanding their relationship with meat and re-investing that into returned custom, benefitting the industry. In March 2022 Crosby was awarded “Good” in their first Full Ofsted Inspection. Ofsted said “Leaders have developed a specialist curriculum which focuses precisely on their areas of expertise while supporting national skills needs in subjects such as butchery. They have developed an ambitious curriculum based on current research, demonstrating high aspirations for apprentices’ skills development, and preparation for their next steps.”
Crosby also ensures that their own team completes Continued Professional Development to ensure that what they are delivering is relevant, up to date and of the highest quality.
In November 2022, Crosby had an astonishing six apprentices as finalists in the Women in Meat awards. Championed by their excellent female trainer, Tara McCaffrey.
Crosby has a real passion to improve the industry, making it more successful and impactful for many years to come. The team is focused on attracting and retaining new entrants to the industry with the intention to maintain the tradition of the industry possessing highly skilled craftspeople. They hold the highest percentage of learners moving onto their Level 3 Advanced Butcher apprenticeship from their Level 2 in the country and hope to continue this for many years to come in line with their vision of “inspiring people to fulfil their potential and go beyond”.
In recent years, they’ve expanded themselves via social media, connecting with many industry experts and sharing tips and tricks of the trade and, most importantly, the excellent achievements of their apprentices. Their Instagram has over 1.1k followers and has built a community within itself, encouraging apprentices to collaborate and share portfolios of their displays and butchery skills. It’s even gone further than its original aim and helped butchery apprentices, new and old, to find new employers and jobs around the country – isn’t that just fantastic?!
Following another year of hard work, dedication, and ambition, Crosby Butchery are delighted to have won Training Provider of the Year at the Institute of Meat Awards 2023. Winning this award will help showcase the excellent work Crosby continues to bring to the industry and benefit many more.