Celebrating 125 years of training

Apprentices Craig Cutler and Daniel Beech

A £25,000 grant from the Meat Training council has led to the opening of a new training facility in the Centre of Dudley.  The centre is the outcome of a partnership between Walter Smith Butchers, Crosby Management Training and Dudley College.  The centre, known as the Walter Smith Food Academy was officially opened on Wed 15th Dec, by Bill Jeremy, Chairman of the meat Training Council.

The opening marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Walter Smith and was attended by John Smith, grandson of founder Walter Smith, who spoke about the history of training over the years.   A commemorative plaque and two framed photographs one from the 1930's and the other taken a few weeks ago were unveiled in front of an audience of specially invited guests.

Human Resources Director, Paul Cadman said: "Good training has been key to the company's longevity, opening this state of the art Food Academy will ensure we continue to provide our staff with the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs and give great service to our customers.  I'm particularly grateful to Bill Jermey, who opened the Academy, for the generous grant given to us by the Meat Training Council and also to Dudley College for its support for our Apprentices Butcher programme and with and NVQ qualifications".

Paul went on to say: "These are exciting times for us, the partnership between the three companies proves this well established butchers 'Walter Smith' is here to stay.  Training these young people to become the butchers of the future is most rewarding."

The training facility is being used to teach butchery apprentices enrolled with Dudley College and in the future it is hoped that it will also be used by local businesses for training.

Sales Manager Terry Guy at Dudley College said:  "This is an exciting partnership with Walter Smith enabling the college to provide young people and adults with access to new opportunities within the food sector."