Supermarket creates 30 new jobs in Portsmouth

New apprentice butcher Jas Sahota and butchery manager Simon Payne in the newly refurbished Morrisons Supermarket in Anchorage Park.
New apprentice butcher Jas Sahota and butchery manager Simon Payne in the newly refurbished Morrisons Supermarket in Anchorage Park.
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IT might be an old-fashioned notion for butchers, fishmongers and bakers to pass their skills to an apprentice working alongside them, but a newly-modernised supermarket is doing just that.

The Morrisons in Anchorage Park, Portsmouth, has relaunched after an £2m refurbishment and has also unveiled its in-store Craft Skills Academy.

The investment has seen 30 new jobs added to the store’s team.

Morrisons meat manager Simon Payne has been a butcher for 12 years, after starting out as an apprentice himself.

He said: ‘It’s great to see new people picking up the trade and to be able to help them on their way gives me great satisfaction.’

Customers will be able to see butchery in action with the new skills academy counter.

Simon said: ‘The new counter really shows off the traditional skills and it’s great that customers can see processes like sausage making in action.

‘I think the counter has retained its traditional skills mixed with the convenience that the younger generation are looking for.

‘We’re finding that people who have only ever picked-up meat off the shelf are now starting to ask questions about where the meat has come from and take advice on cooking techniques which is great to see as it encourages people to try new things or find a cut of meat which fits within their budget.’

The supermarket has also opened up the bakery and installed a dough table at the front so customers can watch bread-making in progress, and vegetables are now being chilled with a new misting system which pumps super-cooled air over them.

Store manager Chris Williams said: ‘The transformation of the store is incredible and I think the Craft Skills Academy is a great way to encourage the uptake of traditional skills.

‘We have more skilled craftsmen and women on our counters than any other supermarket and pride ourselves on the knowledge and advice that they can offer to customers.

‘I’d also like to thank our customers who have been very patient while the changes to make the store more energy efficient have been taking place.

‘As well as being a lot friendlier to the environment, the store also feels brighter and more spacious so hope they’ll agree it’s been worth it.’

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