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First ever female apprentice recruited onto Abattoir Worker apprenticeship

Workforce Training and Development (WTD) have begun training the UK’s first female abattoir apprentice on the Level 2 Abattoir Worker Apprenticeship Standard.

Ionela Bacioiu (known as Dana) works as an operative on the pig abattoir line with Karro Food Group in Malton. Previously a teacher in Romania, Dana came to the UK with her husband three years ago. After working in a bakery she moved to Karro Food Group hoping for more opportunities to develop her career. Dana says she was excited to be given the opportunity to undertake the abattoir apprenticeship and hopes to become a team leader or even an Animal Welfare Officer in the future.


Currently Dana is working on her Maths and English qualifications, learning different tasks on the production line and is about to progress to the evisceration platform. Joss Faulkner, Managing Director of WTD has been working with Dana and says he is delighted with her progress so far,

‘ It’s virtually impossible to give Dana enough information – she absorbs it so quickly. I really enjoy working with her as her enthusiasm and commitment are infectious.’

Dana’s employer, Karro, are wholly supportive of her ambitions. Site Director, Amy Witham said,

‘We welcome diversity with open arms and when the news fed back to me that Dana had enrolled onto the abattoir apprenticeship program, the whole team embraced this opportunity to give her space to grow and shine.’


Karro began their operations apprenticeship programme in 2018. Danni Leggatt, Group Head of Learning and Development, said of their progress,

‘We have worked painstakingly over the last 18 months to bring our apprenticeship programme to fruition. Every step of the way WTD demonstrated commitment, dedication and flexibility to Karro to ensure our programmes will be successful. I am really excited at the prospect of seeing more apprentices in Karro in the future.’


WTD expect Dana to be ready to take her abattoir end-point assessment with FDQ in around 13 months.


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