Dublin’s Village Butcher Ranelagh scoop ‘Diversity in the Workplace’ title

Employer of the Year Village Butchers

Dublin’s well-known Craft Butcher of The Village Butcher, Ranelagh, has won a prestigious award at the 2022 Generation Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Awards, taking home a ‘Workplace excelling in diversity in the workplace’ award at the ceremony. 

Seven businesses from around the country have been crowned Generation Apprenticeship Employers of the Year by Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in an awards ceremony which took place on Thursday, December 8th, 2022 in the Morrison Hotel, Dublin.

Commenting on their win, Sarah Kelly and Michael Madden said “Having a progressive work environment where young people can upskill and reach their full potential can only benefit the business in the future. We try to offer our staff lots of opportunities to learn, grow and achieve their goals. We appreciate the recognition as encouraging people to take up the skills and craft of butchery is very important for the food chain.”

The Village Butcher is a family-run craft butchers that sells quality, fresh artisan food sourced from local suppliers and Irish artisan producers. It is renowned for its wide range of diverse and artisan meats and poultry and its professional and knowledgeable service to its customers. The award was presented to The Village Butcher who have been recognised as a good example of a company that works to progress diversity in the workplace for apprentices. 

The winning employers were selected under two themes, with 26 nominations drawn from micro and SME businesses under theme one, and 57 nominations drawn from micro, SME and large businesses under theme 2. 

The businesses and employers who won an award are:

  • Abcon Industrial products (Cavan) – Pioneering micro/small employer    
  • Ecolect Technical Services Ltd (Clare) – Pioneering micro/small employer 
  • Village Butcher (Dublin) –  Workplace excelling in diversity in the workplace 
  • Dennison Trailers (Kildare) – Workplace excelling in diversity in the workplace 
  • McAree Engineering (Monaghan) – Workplace excelling in diversity in the workplace 
  • Dairymaster (Kerry) – Workplace excelling in diversity in the workplace 
  • Iarnród Éireann (National)  – Workplace excelling in diversity in the workplace  

Minister Harris said: “I want to congratulate The Village Butcher and all of the winners of the 2022 Generation Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Awards. The standard of entries and nominees reflects the high quality of the apprenticeship system here in Ireland, of which businesses and employers are the backbone. Without employers, there would be no apprenticeship system. We have ambitious aims for apprenticeship in this country, and in order to achieve those aims, we need the expertise, passion, training, support and guidance that employers provide. That is why today we are announcing new measures to support small and medium businesses take on apprentices. One More Job will be aimed at providing the help needed to ensure more companies can be part of the apprentice journey.”

The Generation Apprenticeship Employer of the Year awards showcase and celebrate the dedicated employers – now almost 9,000 in number, an increase from just over 6,000 in 2019, who employ apprentices across Ireland, and use apprenticeship as an important source of talent and skills. The awards also celebrate the incredible efforts employers are making to develop apprenticeship opportunities across a range of Irish industries;  growing business, improving performance and efficiency, attracting and retaining talented, and developing forward-thinking individuals who thrive and form part of Ireland’s future skills talent.

The seven awards were made across two main themes; (i) pioneering micro & small companies employing apprentices, and (ii) good examples of practice in workplace diversity benefiting apprentices.

The Employer of the Year awards, now in its fourth year, had high levels of interest this year, with 83 outstanding employers put forward for an award across micro, small, medium and large businesses. 

At the event, Minister Harris also announced a new initiative with micro and small employers in 2023, called One More Job. The initiative will provide practical assistance and supports to micro and small employers who currently do not employ apprentices. The National Apprenticeship Office will work in partnership with apprenticeship providers to provide help businesses access apprenticeship as a talent pipeline.

The nominees for this year’s awards span a diverse range of twenty-first century industries across Ireland, from retail to engineering, electrical, manufacturing, hairdressing, construction, biopharma and much more.

Mary Liz Trant, Director of the National Apprenticeship Office said

“Within the National Apprenticeship Office we are delighted with progress made on expanding apprenticeship opportunities, due to the drive and commitment shown by 21st century employers, education and training providers and industry-led consortia. There are now 66 exciting career paths available under the Generation Apprenticeship banner, and a thriving 26,000-strong community of apprentices in training, school leavers, career changers and people of all ages and backgrounds who are earning while they are learning and developing great careers. A key aim of the National Apprenticeship Office is to enable apprenticeship growth and development in Ireland, including better access and inclusion for under-represented groups including women. The gender-based bursary which was introduced this year is a first step, along with the financial incentive of the apprenticeship employer grant. I would like to congratulate The Village Butcher Ranelagh and thank each of the incredible employers nominated for an award, and for their commitment to creating apprenticeship opportunities. Thanks to each and every one of you, you are helping to develop Ireland’s exceptional skills talent of the future.”

Pictured with their award is Sarah Kelly of the Village Butcher Ranalegh with Minister Simon Harris TD and NAO Director, Dr Mary Liz Trant

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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