Knowing how to cut a piece of meat well (beef, poultry, pork or rabbit) and how to prepare fresh meat products, such as seasoned and ready-to-cook chicken wings, is currently the straightest way to get a job or, in your default, start a business. And with that objective, the Murcia City Council has offered, for the first time, a butchery course that has been taught since last November at Mercamurcia facilities. The high demand that exists in the sector for qualified labor encouraged the Servicio Murcia Emplea del Consistory to take this step and repeat it.
A first group of thirteen students have signed up for this training, aimed primarily at the unemployed, which is free and has a total of 430 teaching hours, plus another eighty for professional practices in companies. Most are unemployed and over 30 years of age,
Cristina Meroño, an employment technician from the City Council Employment Service, explains that the initiative arose in response to a demand from butchery and meat products companies, who could not find qualified personnel with accredited training to meet the needs of the sector. “In this course theoretical-practical training is given, where training in the classroom alternates with the workshop, and at the end of the workshop they go on to do internships in companies with which the City Council has signed a collaboration agreement”, she indicates. .
Among those that have signed up to the agreements are companies associated with Mercamurcia and other outsiders. “Anyone in the municipality that has a demand for these workers can have trainees, as long as there is a person who acts as a tutor and is available to welcome them,” says Cristina Meroño.
The trainees prepare minced meat. /
The Employment technician is forceful in stating that the student who completes this training course “has a high possibility of job placement.” And she points out that for those who do not rule out entrepreneurship, a self-employment talk is scheduled.
During the course, aspiring butchers will learn the details of storing and dispatching meat and products from this family; of meat conditioning and technology; preparation of fresh meat preparations; and manufacturing and traceability of industrial meat products.
Ramón Rodríguez is the professor of the course and was selected in a generic offer launched by the SEF (Employment and Training Service of the Region of Murcia) to fill the position demanded by the City Council. The reason for not making a specific contract for this course is that it will be offered again next May. Registration will be available on the website murciaemplea.es
Ramón is the one who is in charge of unraveling the tricks of working with meat such as the best way to cut it, regardless of the type it is, so that it is tender when it is time to eat: a cut perpendicular to the muscle fibers of the piece of meat let it be handled And, for his position, to explain to them how to avoid occupational risks as much as possible and that they know the hygiene regulations for handling food by heart.
The group is made up of thirteen students, over 30 years of age and most of whom were unemployed
«The students are very involved and eager to learn; Their attitude in this course is very positive”, highlights the professor, who points out that they have already practiced cutting with machines, as well as with a knife, and have learned preservation and handling techniques for sausages.
At the time of reporting, the students were preparing minced meat, marinating chicken wings, making meatball dough (with the right amount of salt and other seasonings added), and filleting beef steaks, as well as butchering a chicken. From this they separated the wings, thighs and breast.
Ricardo Rubio, general director of Mercamurcia, the “most important agri-food logistics distribution center in the southeast of Spain”, explained that his collaboration with the City Council in this course had a double reason. “On the one hand, this professional training room will bring added value to our center, which also has a meat complex.” Secondly, “our wholesalers and clients can turn students into potential workers with a sufficient professional base to undertake the tasks to be carried out with the maximum guarantees of quality and food safety”, because “professionalization is a challenge that must be met face through training actions aimed at improving competitiveness”.
The training classroom consists of two spaces: an open room for theoretical sessions and another with industrial equipment focused on practical sessions.
Unemployed or the first attempt to enter the labor market
Maribel Henao and David Vázquez are two paradigmatic examples of the profile of students in the municipal butchery course. She is from Colombia and has been in Spain for several years. She lives in Bigastro (Alicante) and until now she has made a living taking care of the elderly, but she decided to jump into the job market when she received the information about the course. «I can only have words of gratitude because they have even provided me with a transport scholarship», comments Maribel, who also highlights the human team of the course. She does not rule out setting up a small business if she does not find someone else’s job and she acknowledges that she “is looking forward to” starting an internship in companies.
David had been unemployed for about four years and had never had any relationship with this sector. But “when I saw the ad it seemed like a good way to return to the world of work and I said to myself: Let’s try it.” His experience so far has focused on the hospitality and merchandise sector and, like his colleague, Maribel considers that the experience “is being very good, very pleasant, and I like the practices.” His hope is “that everything turns out well and in the end we have a job.”
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