Feb 7 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
A YOUNG butcher is proving the value of apprenticeships after his work led to a career and a national award.
Ben Peel left school in 2011 with no plans to follow the academic route his older brother went down.
Finding reading and writing difficult because learning difficulties, dyslexia and dyspraxia, Ben decided to look for a way into a career job.
Now, 18 months on, after completing an butchery apprenticeship with Taylors Farm Shop in Lathom, he has secured a full-time job there at just 17. And on February 26 he is to receive the Lord Graham Endeavour Award from the Princess Royal at the annual Meat Training Awards for his achievements.
Ben, from Pendle Drive, Ormskirk, told the Advertiser: “The apprenticeship is the best thing I’ve ever done.
“School wasn’t for me. It’s been really good here – I really enjoy it. I’d definitely recommend it to others. There’s a good team here I’m working with. Now I want to stay here as a butcher and work my way up.”
Reflecting back on when Ben left school, his mother Linda said: “We were worried. He didn’t want to go down any further education route and found academic learning difficult.
“He was determined to get a job. Ben had done a work placement at Scotts Butchers in Year 10 and enjoyed it, but unfortunately there was no position available.
“But we helped him put a CV together and his dad took him around all the other butchers. Taylors agreed to give him a trial day and they then offered the apprenticeship. It’s just been wonderful for him.”
Ben was the first apprentice Bernie Webster, who runs the farm shop, has taken on.
And she spoke of how he was a shining example of how hard working young people can be.
She said: “Ben came to us and we gave him a chance.He wasn’t going to college and didn’t know what else to do. He’s become a very good butcher. We took him on as an apprentice and set him up with a company called Meat Ipswich, which gave him his accreditation.
“Our butcher Steve’s son Jon helped Ben with his work books and the lads have really taken him under their wing. Now he’s completed it and we’ve taken him on full time, he works six days a week. Apprenticeships have really good value – sometimes work skills can be just as good as bits of paper.”
And Ben’s mum said: “We’re all so proud of him. He’s overcome his learning difficulties – he’s still got them but he’s shown that with support you can achieve what you want.
“When we heard about the award it was amazing – just to be nominated would have been amazing but when we heard he’s won we were over the moon.
“It just shows apprenticeships can really benefit people. It’s given him a confidence you wouldn’t believe in himself and his abilities.”