Apprentice becomes the Master

Apprentice becomes the Master

Turnbull’s Apprentice given top marks by Training Body, Meat Ipswich, as he becomes a fully qualified Butcher. Also nominated for a second award.


Robert Darling, 19, has now become a fully qualified Butcher after completing two years industry training under the watchful eye of Turnbull’s Master Butcher, Peter McEwan.


Industry Training Provider, Meat Ipswich, were also so impressed with Robert during his 75-minute skills test, his assessor has nominated Rob for “Best meat Processing Apprentice” within The Institute of Meat and the Worshipful Company of Butchers.


Rob joined Turnbull’s of Alnwick as an apprentice butcher at the age of 17 at a time of expansion for the business, with the existing town centre shop bolstered by the new Northumbrian Foodhall in Willowburn Retail Park. He quickly displayed a maturity and dedication beyond his years becoming a crucial member of the Turnbull’s team.


Aided in his development by butchery manager Peter McEwan and business owner Daniel Turnbull, Rob was able to put his creativity and innovation to the test when he was nominated for the Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year. He put his own spin on a traditional Wellington, using pork fillet, butterflied open and stuffed with chorizo and morcilla, encased in puff pastry and brushed with a seasoned oil. The product proved a commercial success and as a result Rob was awarded Q Guild Young Butcher of the Year in 2020.


Daniel Turnbull, Sixth Generation Butcher & Business Owner said: “Rob is a dependable, resourceful, and personable member of the Turnbull’s team. He is also an exceptional young butcher and unsurprisingly has recently achieved a pass with excellence upon completion of his butchery apprenticeship”


Now a fully certified butcher, Turnbull’s are proud to have Rob representing Northumbrian Food. We are excited to help him continue his progression and look forward to celebrating his future achievements.


Following on from the success of Robert, Turnbull’s are looking to recruit another apprentice to follow in Rob’s footsteps with the aim to become a fully qualified Butcher in an award-winning family business. The successful candidate, working alongside our experienced team of master butchers both in our shop and cutting and processing unit, will be given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to become a fully qualified butcher and to develop skill sets that will allow them to become one of the country's best young apprentice butchers, competing in national competitions.


The apprenticeships are overseen by Meat Ipswich, and independent body who provide training and assessment programmes for Butchers. A representative from MEAT Ipswich said “Butchery apprenticeships have transformed in recent years, with the introduction of new apprenticeship based on ‘standards’ raising the bar on training in the meat industry. MEAT offers Certificates, Awards and a full range of apprenticeships to butchers across the UK’


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