NZ Certificate in Trade Butchery, Level 4 Programme


Every Kiwi who knows a bit about meat will have a favourite butcher. From summer BBQ’s with the in-laws, to preparing that mouth-watering roast for their midwinter Christmas; it’s safe to say that Kiwi’s love their meat! That’s why becoming a Butcher is quite the responsibility. And it’s also super rewarding.

Butchers work to prepare, package, display, and sell meat in shops and supermarkets. They have a huge range of tasks, and it’s safe to say one day won’t be the same as another. From working in freezers, to dealing with suppliers. From preparing cuts of meat, to giving customers what they need and sending them away with a smile.

Skills4Work is a niche specialised training provider who is offering this new programme Skills4Butchers. We are a partner in the Maori Pasifika Trade Training (MPTT) Consortium. We are also an NZQA registered and accredited Category 1 training provider, who currently trains over 200+ butchery apprentices throughout NZ. Our newest Trade Butchery Programme is the first of its kind to hit New Zealand.

We specialise in providing students, not only with the skills and knowledge, but also the hands-on practical work experience in the actual workplace alongside their formal training at our Manukau Training Centre.

To become a butcher in Aotearoa, you’ll need to become qualified and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Trade Butchery. Start your career with Skills4Work Butchery Apprenticeship today.

Skills4Work apprentices have won the Young Butchery and the Butchery Apprentice of the Year awards over many years!


When qualified, what are my career options?

When qualified you will have achieved the New Zealand Certificate in Trade Butchery, Level 4 with a strand in hand crafted small goods. Becoming a trade butcher opens up career pathways such as:

  • Full Time Trainer
  • Retail Butcher
  • Wholesalers
  • Supermarkets
  • In-store/Franchises
  • Supervisor, 2IC or Manager
  • Self Employed – own your own business
  • Become a Butchery Ingredients sales rep
  • Travel Overseas and use your skills/talents

Course Costs

This course is “Fees Free” if you are a NZ Resident. Check your eligibility on the NZQA website now! Alternatively you can contact us and we can advise you if you qualify for the scheme.

Upcoming Course Start Dates


Feb 2023


Course Length16 months

Entry RequirementsYes

Fees FreeNZ Resident

Next Intake 7th February 2023
Course Intake dates may change due to Covid Restrictions

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Programme Outline

The Trade Butchery Programme consists of six courses. The courses are 11-12 weeks each and 5 out of 6 of them are a blend of learning in the workplace via a work placement and on-site learning at our Skills4Work training centre based in Manukau, Auckland.

We are only 2 mins walking distance from the Manukau train station & bus hub.

Trainee Butchers will learn:

• Different cuts and grades of meat, and how long they remain fresh
• How to prepare and cook different types of meat
• How to safely use knives and other butchery equipment
• Food hygiene legislation and regulations
• Cooking and value added meat products

Course Overview

In each course, butchery students will experience and learn about the world of butchery. Butchers are creative and passionate about their trade.

Course 1. Introduction to the World of Butchery (12 weeks with Skills4Work)

You will learn about:
• The butchery industry, we will show you where your career can take you as a qualified butcher (visits to di erent butchery businesses)
• How to make hand-crafted sausages, slicing meat and mincing meat
• Learn about meat processing and preparation including refrigeration, temperature control for refrigerating the safety requirements for managing the cold storage of meat
• Customer service, food safety, contamination, health and safety, and learn some cooking techniques
• Essential skills that employers need, such as problem-solving, creativity, growth mindset, financial literacy, entrepreneurship

Course 2. Butchery Essentials and the Workplace (11 weeks, three days in the workplace, two days with Skills4Work)

You will learn about:
• Processing meat cuts, mincing, making sausages and slicing (by machine) in a retail meat operation
• Produce trays of wrapped and labelled meat suitable for display and sale applying knowledge of legislation, nutritional values and cooking methods of meat products
• Customer service techniques

Course 3. Butchery products, nutrition and cooking (11 weeks, three days in the workplace, two days with Skills4Work)

You will learn about:
• Produce meat cuts/slices – sheep, beef, pork and rolled poultry for sale and display while applying waste reduction practices, stock control
• Cook nutritional meat products including a range of serving methods

Course 4. Value add meat products, yields and into to profit (11 weeks, three days in the workplace, two days with Skills4Work)

You will learn about:
• Produce sheep, beef, pork and poultry meat cuts by slicing manually and produce rolled beef meat products for display and sale
• Cut meats within stock control and waste reduction practices in a retail meat operation

Course 5. Butchery Know your beast, Primals and cuts (11 weeks, three days in the workplace, two days with Skills4Work)

You will learn about:
• Learn how to produce value-added meat-based products, including rolled sheep, beef and pork products
• Understanding livestock anatomy and the meat cuts
• Sawing meat products
• Learning about yields, profit, and selling prices of meat

Course 6. Butchery – Merchandising, display and profit

• Produce rolled pork meat products
• Continue to learn about livestock anatomy and meat cuts
• Create examples of merchandising and displays of meat products

Workplace Experience

Work placements start in Course 2 where you will be at our training centre 2 days per week and the other 3 with the employer. With work placements, we will do our best to find somewhere as close to where you live, as possible.

We have great connections with employers throughout New Zealand.  Skills learnt, not only give you the opportunity to gain full-time employment but provide you with skills to support your family and the community.

Entry Requirements

Whilst we would love to take on every single person who applies we do have some criteria you must meet:

• Domestic Student
• New Zealand Citizen or Resident
• Be at least 18 years old
• Have NCEA Level 2 or equivalent knowledge OR current industry experience

Additional Information:

• NZ Citizen/Residents are eligible for the Fees Free Scheme
• Student Loan and allowance options are available via Study Link
• Must be able to physically lift around 20 to 25kgs
• Must be able to travel to our training centre in Manukau, Auckland
• Have NCEA Level 2 or equivalent knowledge OR current industry experience




Do you have an opportunity for our Butchery students to join your business as an apprentice? Get in touch to list your vacancy on our website!


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