However, according to IoM chief executive Keith Fisher, the report called ‘Making Apprenticeships Work’ was only highlighting the calls that its own organisation had been making for over a decade.
The report suggested that holders of the most prestigious apprenticeships might be addressed as “master craftsman” or “master craftswoman” in the same way that people who completed a PhD were entitled to be called “doctor”.
The SNF said that the British skills system should take lessons from the Middle Ages – and European nations such as Germany – to raise the status of vocational training and qualifications and help people recognise higher-level apprenticeships.
The report added that higher apprenticeships should be recognised as demanding qualifications that could lead to senior jobs and higher wages. New titles for holders could add status to apprenticeships, and eventually act as ‘signals’ to candidates and employers.
The IoM said that its chairman, Bill Jermey, first introduced the title of ‘Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher’ back in 2009, to recognise the skills, knowledge and experience of those butchers at the top of their profession.
To qualify, applicants must submit evidence of their suitability for the title, which is then reviewed firstly by an IoM accredited moderator. Only 45 of the country’s most accomplished butchers currently hold the title.
Fisher said: “We welcome the SNF’s suggestions. The new butchery apprentices are deserving members of the title, Apprentice Member, IoM. The apprenticeship is demanding and requires their full commitment. Those who succeed may become the Institute of Meat Master Butchers (MB.Inst.M) of the future.”