BMPA calls for butchers to be added to Shortage Occupation List

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The British meat processing industry is calling on the Government to help keep production lines operating by adding butchers to the Shortage Occupation List.

The Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is currently consulting on which occupations should be added to the list, which will receive preferential treatment under the new immigration policy from next year. It has called for evidence of skills shortages so they can decide which occupations should be added to the list.

BMPA said it will be submitting evidence to show just that on behalf of the meat industry.  It said takes up to two years of training before a new recruit to the meat processing industry has the skill to work safely and productively on different parts of the production line.

“The job is physically demanding, requiring strength and discipline as well as specialist knowledge of various areas ranging from knife skills, animal anatomy and use of processing equipment through to an understanding of food quality, safety standards and traceability. It’s also work that is difficult and often impossible to automate, which means we always need people,” it said in an article on its website.

“Even before the coronavirus crisis, UK meat processing companies were contending with a 10-15% shortfall in skilled workers.

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