Dundee butcher`s mentoring skills secure national awardThursday, 2nd Dec 2021
Nominated by one of his colleagues, Craig said he was "really chuffed" to receive the award at a special presentation lunch from Scotland`s first National Chef and Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean.
Throughout his senior career, Craig has mentored around 20 apprentices, ensuring young butchers enjoy every opportunity of a long and rewarding career.
And Craig is passionate about bringing young people into the industry.
"We need to secure the next generation of butchers," he said, "and ensure that they are properly trained and enthused about their chosen career. They are our future and it`s up to qualified butchers like me to get it right for their sake."
And Craig, currently manager of Scott Brothers Broughty Ferry shop, explained that if a trainee showed the right promise, he would put everything he has in to training them.
"I like to think I have a talent for spotting something in people that others might miss," he said. "I just need a sign that they have potential and a spark of passion for the job and I`ll put in the hours to train and support them."
It was this type of support that saw Chris nominated for the coveted national Mentor Of The Year Award, sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), by one of his apprentices.
Apprentice butcher Daniel Evans said Chris was a "role model" in the business.
After a shaky start in his apprenticeship saw Daniel struggling and disheartened, he was taken under Craig`s wing and never looked back.
"At first Craig seemed to be very stern, possibly because he was aware of my past issues at work," outlined Daniel`s nomination submission. "But after a short while he saw potential in me.
"This was my turning point as a butcher. He started giving me technical butchery to do. I remember being very nervous to trim a whole beef fillet - one of the first challenges he had given me. I remember feeling very grateful for this because nobody in my first shop would trust me enough to go anywhere near a fillet.
"Craig taught me to believe in myself and that it is ok to make mistakes. Instead of chastising me he would just show me where I went wrong and what to do better next time."
Under this relationship, Daniel`s progress as a butcher took off and he is now assistant manager to his mentor.
Daniel was also a finalist for the Level 3 Modern Apprentice Of The Year Award 2021.
Gordon King, Executive Manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, said mentors of Chris`s calibre were "vital" to the industry.
"They are key to securing the next generation of butchers," he said. "Taking those rough diamonds and shaping them in to first class butchers that are increasingly more technical, skilled and knowledgeable as the customers` expectations continue to rise."