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South Auckland’s Wez and Fetu are carving a new future for themselves, training to become butchers at Manukau’s Skills4Work training centre.

The two students are learning how to make plain and gourmet sausages as part of their Skills4Butchery programme first course, Butchery Essentials, click here to watch the video.

The excess produce from their classes are then delivered to The Cause Collective’s (TCC) One Love residents in Wiri and Māngere as well as community groups.

“It’s great to hear we are helping and providing kai for our community,” says apprentice Wez Dyers from Māngere.

“I’ve been in the meat industry for more than 10 years but I’ve never done any of these technical things before. It’s challenging and exciting,” he adds.

Systems Innovator Lesley Maipi has been developing the relationship between TCC and Skills4Work following the most recent lockdown.

“TCC backbones organisations and provides that crucial link between agencies and community,” says Lesley.

“One of the issues we see is food insecurity and so this sausage drive can have a real impact on whānau,’ she adds.

“We’re always short of meat because it’s expensive and not seen as staple food,” says Ian Foster, South Auckland Christian Foodbank manager.

“These 30+ sausage packs came at the right time. They will be gone tomorrow and given to those who need it,” he said.

For Wiri apprentice Fetu, the community deliveries have inspired her to put in extra effort into sausage making.

“Knowing it’s going to the community, we try to make them look and taste good so that people will want more,” says Fetu.

The Skills4Work training programme enables students to gain work experience and, in turn, gain practical skills that can be applied to the workplace and become a qualified butcher.

“During Course 1 we teach them what they need to know, like how to slice meat, make sausages technically, sharpen and use the knives and the essential skills such as communication and problem solving,” says Tamai Roff, Skills4Work General Manager.

“We put them into employment in Course 2 – Course 6, where they learn the practical side of butchery such as meat cuts, value add products, customer service, and then they come to us to carry on their formal training. We are training and developing future butchers,” she says.

For more information on Skills4Work, click here.