“I went on a trip to wales with CMT a while ago where I met lots of butchers that were doing their apprenticeship. We did coasteering and I was able to make some new friends along with a colleague of mine that came with me. The farm visit was good fun, being able to see the cattle in the field put the Farm-to-Fork into perspective and when I opened my own shop, I was able to take that knowledge with me.”
An experiential learning experience
- Why we host the residential
At Crosby, we like to enjoy what we do while having fun and being positive! We like to ensure we are encompassing all our core values in the delivery of our apprenticeships by staying committed to quality. We base the three days on learning at pace while building trust in each other and working as a team; this improves our KSBs and working behaviour so that we can be authentic and true to our own ways while getting the right results!
- Suppliers days
During the course of the apprenticeship, we take our learners on supplier days to get a more in-depth understanding of the slaughter and procurement process. The trip is a one day event where we see the full process, from grading the live livestock- getting hands on and feeling the fat levels – to the stunning of the animal, then dressing the carcass ready for butchery. We then have a presentation from the host on their specific company policies and where the meat goes. A great day for all those involved, level 2, 3 and abattoir apprentices.
- What we do
DAY ONE – Travel to Wales via a suckler herd farm. A map reading excursion in teams allows everyone to work together and build on their communication skills while working in a team and problem solving. Creating their own routes to the end point is a great way to include everyone and break the ice early on, using their knowledge and imparting skills.
DAY TWO – The adventure activity is done on the second day, this could be: coasteering, gorge walking, kayaking, rafting or abseiling! We are testing the boundaries and working together to enjoy the day. Team-work is used throughout the day to aid in the KSBs.
DAY THREE – The final day will consist of more activities and reflection on your few days in Snowdonia. You will increase your teamworking and teambuilding skills along with many other theoretical aspects to develop your KSBs within your apprenticeship standard.
- Where they take place
Llanberis in Northern Wales. We make our way there together by car and stay in an outdoor centre, but there are nice warm beds (and good bathrooms)!! The local hills and ancient oak forest make for some really interesting walking. The quarry in the heart of the hills is a fantastic place to face your fears while working together to get through the tunnels and scaling the walls.
The supplier days are all over the country: we work with ABP, Westwoods and small independent abattoirs. This helps the learners have a full understanding of the processes involved in a small plant and a large, more commercial plant.
The residential runs for three action filled days. We start on a Monday morning by leaving the Wolverhampton office and head to Wales from there. We stop for a trip to a farm learning about the procurement of suckler herd cattle. The second day is the activity day where we all spend time at the coast, the gorge or on the lake with reflective time in the evening. The third and final day is the day we make our way home, but not before some more activities that strengthen your core KSBs.
- When it takes place
We are well aware of the busy periods in a butcher’s shop so we aim to avoid all the religious holidays and seasonally busy periods. We aim to hold them in the summer at the start of the week so that all the apprentices are back to work for the end of the week trade and weekends.
- How many people attend and where they come from
We aim for around 18* apprentices on the residential and they come from all geographical corners of England! This is especially great as discussion about meat trends are always different and this can help in their learning and their KSBs
- The benefits
Knowledge – learning more about the Farm-to-Fork experience, by visiting a working suckler herd. Understanding the procurement stages and how the quality is changed by the farming process with Age, Sex, Feed, Breed.
Skills – butchery knowledge transfers between lots of apprentices in a new environment. Communication skills are put to the test in group activities, these will help you in the future and can be taken home with you!
Behaviours – working in teams and with new people, making sure you are punctual and are present in all activities over the three days. Engaging with the group and learning from your trainers, peers and mountaineer experts.
“I attended two trips with Crosby which changed how I look at the farming and where my meat comes from. I went to a farm in Chesterfield with my trainer Tara and Chris, it was so interesting being able to touch the lambs and guess their confirmation, I still always tell my customers about it! I then went to Highbury poultry and learnt all about the true meaning of free range and how chickens don’t actually enjoy sunlight so I can tell my customers this, when they ask questions. I found all the trips I had with them really useful for my apprenticeship and I won’t forget them in a hurry!!”
“I attended the residential as an apprentice myself. It was the most fun I had had in a work environment at the time and I still talk about how amazing it was now! It was such a great way to meet new people and enhance my skills and behaviours for working in a team and problem solving which helps at all levels. I would encourage anyone to take part if they had the opportunity!”
“I’ve never been on an excursion quite like this one. Set in beautiful Wales we hiked some amazing trials with a very experienced guide and with some new mates I got to know on the trip, what a great way to engage with like-minded people! Although tired after the first hike with some surprises along the way we were rewarded with amazing views at an old quarry and a good meal out on the town! Day One- Big thumbs up!”