Bishop Burton College butchery apprentice wins national award

Luke Hobson, butchery apprentice with Bishop Burton College, was named Best Apprentice Showing Management Potential in a Manufacturing Environment at the Institute of Meat (IoM) and Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) Annual Prizegiving, held at Butchers Hall in London.

Luke Hobson butchery apprentice with Bishop Burton College being presented with his award

Luke, who competed against butchery apprentices from around the country, is pursuing an Advanced Butcher qualification while holding the position of Trainee Supervisor of the process hall, within the factory at Pilgrim’s UK Lamb Ltd (formerly Randall Parker Foods). He was presented with the award by Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat and Chris Wood, Master of The Worshipful Company of Butchers. In addition to their winners certificate, Luke was also awarded a cheque to the value of £250 and a year’s free membership of the Institute of Meat.

Luke’s Line Manager Jon Edgar from Pilgrim’s UK said: “From the start of his apprenticeship journey with us, Luke has demonstrated outstanding expertise in various aspects of the butchery trade. His strong work ethic, extensive knowledge and leadership qualities mean he is a huge asset to the team. It’s been fantastic to see Luke develop as a professional and his hard work and enthusiasm recognised with this prestigious award.”

The IoM and WCB Annual Prizegiving has been running for over thirty years and seeks to recognise and reward individual achievement in the meat industry.

Paul Nicholson, Lead Butchery Assessor and IQA at Bishop Burton, who trained Luke, said: “Luke has a real passion for butchery, which shines through in everything he does. In addition to demonstrating a real desire to develop his own skills and understanding, he is also hugely supportive of the other apprentices and colleagues in the workplace, always willing to share and pass on his own knowledge and expertise. This award is incredibly well-deserved and it’s wonderful to see such talent and dedication acknowledged by such a respected institution as the Institute of Meat.”

Commenting on the awards, Fisher, himself a fourth generation Master Butcher, said: “The Institute of Meat has celebrated the craft of butchery for decades. I’m thrilled to now see large swathes of the public wanting to know where their meat comes from, trusting their local butcher to provide it, and respecting the great skill that goes into doing so.

“Although there’s always more to do, we hope our awards help open peoples’ eyes to what a brilliant career choice butchery is, and one that’s open to all. The meat industry today is a hotbed of innovation. It’s talented apprentices like Luke and dedicated training providers like Bishop Burton College and employers such as Pilgrim’s that help make it such a vibrant and rewarding sector to work in.”

Bishop Burton College offers a range of apprenticeship options in subject areas, ranging from Agriculture to Teacher Training and Horticulture to Construction. Apprentices are welcomed from any background from the age of 16. For more information, please see