Ariane Bennett is destined for a bright future in the family business, DH Robertson, after lifting a national apprentice award.
She had to adapt her studies during the pandemic to be assessed by video, using her spare time to further hone her skills.
But the hard work has paid off for 19-year-old Ariane Bennett from Arbroath who has won a coveted Scottish Craft Butchers’ Apprentice of the Year Award.
Ariane has been working full-time in her family’s D H Robertson butchery business at Fisheracre since leaving school, learning the skills of the trade and studying hard for industry exams.
She was awarded the Scottish Craft Butchers’ SVQ Level 2 Apprentice Of The Year Award in recognition of how she adapted her studies to allow video-link assessments of her work to take the place of physical visits by assessors during the pandemic and how she used her spare time to hone her skills and advance her studies.
“It was a whole new training platform but it worked really well,” said a delighted Ariane.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to get this award – it’s a really big deal. To be rewarded for doing something you love is really special.”
Ariane topped nominations for apprentice butchers from all over Scotland in the annual awards sponsored by SQA, the Scotch Butchers Club and Legal Rooms.
Assessor Chris Wright who nominated her for the award, praised Ariane’s “absolute commitment” to her course – even during a nationwide lockdown.
“Ariane kept on messaging the office to get more work in so she wouldn’t fall behind. As the shop was so small they couldn’t allow assessors in to view Ariane’s knife work, but again this didn’t deter her spirit to get the job done.
“She asked the assessors whether there was another way and she started sending videos into us to complete her knife work assessments with further phone calls to achieve clarification on various points.
“The fact she had done all of this during work and her own time meant she had completed her qualification in a quick time allowing her to look forward to her Level 3 studies.”
🌟🥇🏆🌟🥇🏆🌟🥇🏆🌟🥇🏆🌟🥇🏆🌟🥇CONGRATULATIONS TO ARIANE BENNETT ON WINNING LEVEL 2 APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR. What a great…
Ariane started working at weekends in DH Robertson with her parents Steven and Pamela when she was just 13, joining her brother in the bakery. Even then she knew it was a butcher’s life for her.
“I love every aspect of the business,” she added. “I even like doing the cleaning out. There’s so much to learn and it’s exciting perfecting the skills that go to make a great butcher.”
Ariane has battled dyslexia all her life, which makes her written work an even greater challenge.
“I never use it as an excuse or let it define me,” she said. “I just get on with it.
“In the same way, I want to succeed on my own merits – not because I’m the boss’s daughter.”
Gordon King, executive manager of Scottish Craft Butchers, explained that nearly 200 apprentice butchers throughout Scotland have been at the frontline during the past challenging year.
“Our industry has worked really hard to keep this country fed with no break and no complaining,” he said.
“These awards are our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the apprentices who have all stepped up to the plate to support their employers and their customers and to recognise how difficult training has been.
“Nominations were received from all over Scotland – Shetland to Jedburgh and out to the islands – and the winners are exceptional examples of a tremendous group of committed and enthusiastic apprentice butchers.
“The success of the training programme during Covid-19 shows how we can adapt and develop to ensure the apprentices who represent the future of this industry do not lose out.”