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An Apprentice Butcher Story: Daniele Massidda

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Meet Daniele Massidda (known as Dani), now a passionate butcher with expert talents and a drive to succeed, he recently completed his End-point Assessment (EPA) with FDQ.

Between the years of 2005 and 2006 Dani gained industry experience through owning his own sausage company. Eventually exploring a new career path as a floor manager, working around some of the finest food, based in a famous Food Hall on the Lower Ground of Fortnum and Mason. Positioned alongside the butchery counter, Dani began finding himself watching how they worked. Intrigued and curious, with a willingness to learn more, he found himself deep in conversations with the butchers. Absorbing as much information as he could, slowly but surely imagining himself working as a qualified butcher. Eventually Dani decided to begin his Level 2 Butcher Apprenticeship. Describing this opportunity as: “I felt lucky to be able to do this at this company (Fortnum and Mason), I love it here.”

Why an apprenticeship?

With background in owning his own store and already a master of knife skills, he was always

eager to expand his knowledge in the meat industry. Dani expressed: “I like the idea – it’s a great way to work and learn at the same time and to find new insights”. He also added, “An apprenticeship will also make me become a more complete butcher.” With aims of developing his core knowledge and skills within the industry of meat.

Now at the age of 48, Dani never thought he would be able to do an apprenticeship: “I always thought an apprenticeship would be for younger people, I feel lucky to do this at the age I am. The apprenticeship brought me back in time,” opening books, researching and taking notes. An inspiring message to all generations, showing age has no limitations with a never say never attitude.

Apprenticeship journey

With the balance of preparation, working and learning at the same time, Dani was eager to get started. During his apprenticeship, he felt support from everyone, including qualified butchers at Fortnum’s, Sanjeda Ali (learning and development specialist), and his training provider, M.E.A.T Ipswich Ltd. His tutor, Eric, has also been great support, offering his experience and knowledge as well as training face to face and over the phone.

He found his apprenticeship “incredibly interesting”, but according to Dani, “not a walk in the park” either. Being an Italian speaker, Dani found learning English terminology most challenging. He spent months developing his knowledge and understanding, through reading books, general research, and trying to memorise and understand English pronunciation for key words. As well as being surrounded and supported by experienced butchers, Dani’s determination and will to succeed meant for a successful end to his apprenticeship program.

Dani described his experience by saying: “I never expected I would love it this much”. He also added, “Being in an apprenticeship and learning more about the butcher industry, has made me respect animals even more”.

Fortnum and Mason, Lower ground floor. Dani spent some time here for EPA practice.

End-point Assessment

Dani completed his End-point Assessment with FDQ, describing his overall experience by saying: “They (FDQ) were great and I received good communication throughout" - "I received my itinerary which mentioned everything for the day”, helping Dani plan for his EPA.

In the build up to Dani’s assessment, he had many conversations with Jim Richardson, the EPA Manager assigned to develop, implement and manage the EPA process. He mentioned the support from Jim was “amazing”, also adding, “I can’t thank him enough for the support he gave me and the conversations we had, preparing me for what to expect for my assessment”.

Plans for the future

Although Dani has just completed his apprenticeship, he eventually wants to do a Level 3 Butcher Apprenticeship, with ambition to continue to develop his skillset.

Looking forward, he would also like to move to the meat buying area. Exploring more about what the industry has to offer. Dani would like to, at some point, be able to source meats for the company he loves, Fortnum and Mason.

To find out more about Level 2 & Level 3 butchery end-point assessments see below,

Level 2 Butcher End-point Assessment:

Level 3 Advanced Butcher End-point Assessment:



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