James Whelan Butchers is a fifth-generation family-owned butcher. James Whelan Butchers first opened their doors in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in 1966.

The business has now grown to include nine more outlets around Ireland thanks to a partnership with Dunnes Stores and concessions stands with Avoca.

Two further stores will be added to Dunnes Stores in Tralee and Leopardstown in October.

Speaking on the apprenticeship call out, Pat Whelan CEO of James Whelan Butchers says they are on the lookout for applicants with the right attitude to tackle the skills it takes to become the ultimate butcher. He describes those skills as:

  • Being a good stockman – having the ability to walk into a field and assess if an animal is ripe for slaughter.
  • Being a compassionate slaughterman – you’ve been given the privilege and the skill to take life from an animal and that has to be done with respect.
  • After the animal is slaughtered, you need to understand the whole maturity process – the difference between good and great is aging it, and understanding how to age it.
  • You need to be able to commercialise it – you start with two sides of meat, and you need to be able to bring that into products that are relevant to the customer base you have.
  • You need to be able to communicate – because if you are going to do all this hard work and you are going to add so much value to the food chain you need to be able to explain to people what you have done and the difference you have made.
  • The apprenticeship is a three-year full-time paid position. Each level of achievement will be completed over one calendar year from commencement of the training and all modules in each of the learning stages will be verified through continuous assessment. After successful completion certification will be awarded and advancement to the next level achieved.

    “Through the three-year programme we are training people who are as committed to their craft as we are to ours and giving these students who are interested in a career in the food industry, on-the-job training with some of the leading master butchers in Ireland,” says Pat.

    To find out more about the internship and see the modules covered visit jameswhelanbutchers.com, or email careers@jwb.ie. Applications are open now.