AN award-winning butcher from Llangollen has been announced as an ambassador to improve skills in the food industry.
Tomi Jones, 23, runs the family-run butchers in Llangollen and was named Welsh Young Butcher of the Year 2012.
As an ambassador for the campaign Tomi will be featured in the first of a series of short films highlighting the important role skills play in delivering quality long-term careers in the industry.
Tomi began his career in carpentry but butchery was in his blood and he decided to re-train.
He was assisted by Jobs Growth Wales and had the opportunity to gain NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Butchery with Cambrian Training.
By now Tomi has three trainee apprentices of his own to train in the profession.
Commenting, Tomi Jones said: “It’s been a great opportunity to learn the skills that I need to do the job that I enjoy doing and gain the qualifications and experience at the same time.
Having three apprentices working alongside me is a big thing for me, especially at a young age. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to do it, but I enjoy it and I enjoy teaching them. It gets people off the street and into a job they like doing.”
Following research commissioned by the project highlighting significant skills gaps across the supply chain, the campaign will run over 2013/14 travelling the breadth of Wales and engaging with leading employers and membership bodies from across the industry.
It is projected that through plugging these gaps, the food and hospitality sector, can expand further over the coming decade and consolidate its position as the largest collective employer in Wales.
Project partners have developed this call to action due to the vital role the sector plays in underpinning the wider Welsh economy. Together, all of the businesses that make up the food and drink industry in Wales employ around 230,000 people.
This represents 18 per cent of the Welsh workforce, making it the largest collective employer in Wales.
Generating around £6.5 billion of sales revenue annually, the industry is, in fact, now the largest combined industry of employment in Wales.