Abattoir Operative

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An abattoir or slaughterhouse operative, or meat process worker, kills animals humanely and prepares the carcasses for the meat market.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).

As of 1 April 2017 the National Minimum Wage is £5.60 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £7.05 an hour for workers aged 21 to 24. The National Living Wage is £7.50 for workers aged 25 and over. This may rise to £10.50 per hour with experience.

There are sometimes additional shift bonuses, or bonuses for attendance and timekeeping.


Employment Status UK %

Past Unemployment

Year Unemployed

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Getting In

Although there are fewer abattoirs than there used to be due to smaller ones closing, employment prospects are good. The centralised abattoirs are much larger. Each one usually specialises in a particular kind of animal.

Predicted Employment in Scotland

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What Does it Take?

You should be able to:


Getting On


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

National Food and Drink Training
Tel: 01383 661 555

On 1st April 2015, Scottish Bakers rebranded its training arm to National Food and Drink Training (NFDT). This now encompasses working with companies outwith the bakery sector including meat processing, fish processing, mineral water and sweet manufacturing.

National Skills Academy for Food and Drink
Tel: 0845 644 0558
Twitter: @NSAFD

On 1st June 2015, Improve Ltd & NSAFD merged to become one company. The single entity is now known as The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink and is the Sector Skills Council for the food and drink manufacturing and processing industries.

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