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TAFE NSW Granville apprentice Jacob Camilleri has been named National Apprentice of the Year at the final of the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) competition held in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Widely regarded as the meat industry’s premier competition, AIMC’s competition attracts huge interest from Australia’s 3,200 independent butchers.
Finalists from six Australian states competed in beef, lamb, pork, gourmet, continental and poultry sausage divisions, after earning the right to represent their states in regional competitions held over the past 12 months.
Jacob first developed a passion for butchering at the age of 14, when he was working as a ‘washing up boy’ for his local butcher in a small country town. He is now studying for a Certificate III Meat Processing (Retail Butcher) at TAFE NSW Granville.
“I was quite nervous to be competing on the National stage, but I also felt honoured to be there. I am glad my employer Dave Funnell from CHOP Artisan Butchery travelled to WA to support and mentor me,” said Jacob.
“The first day was a theory exam, we were judged on our knowledge, cutting skills and knowledge of the different cuts of meat. Day two was when it ramped up as we were given a mystery box which had a leg of lamb, beef rump and a pork scotch fillet; I was able to create 20 different products from the three cuts of meat.
“TAFE NSW Granville has been instrumental in providing me with opportunity to study away from traditional delivery methods, as well as providing awareness of competitions as apprentice butcher which is how I came to compete in the Sausage King competition.
“I love the flexibility of studying with TAFE NSW, which means I can complete my studies while gaining experience as an apprentice at CHOP Artisan Butchery, Belrose.”
Director, CHOP Artisan Butchery Dave Funnell said “As a second year apprentice, Jacob has already achieved a lot. He handled the pressures of a national competition extremely well. In the lead-up to the competition, we did a few practice sessions and spoke about a game plan.
“Jacob is a hardworking kid, he’s very respectful and is always willing to help out. Nothing is ever a drama for him and he has good customer service. He’s advancing in all areas of his apprenticeship very well.”
CHOP Artisan Butchery currently has stores in Belrose and Rouse Hill and will be opening two stores in Penrith and one on the Central Coast in the next couple of months.
Jacob is keen to continue his studies after completing his apprenticeship, to assist him with his ambition to combine his trade with management skills, and potentially manage one of the CHOP Artisan Butchery stores.
Not limiting his achievements to winning National Apprentice of the Year, Jacob also played rugby for the Penrith Panthers under 18s and Malta under 16s.
To learn more about studying meat and allied trades at TAFE NSW visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887