The number of students signing up to AHDB's Meat Education Programme (MEP) has increased by 50% since government restrictions began, with pass rates increasing by 10%.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) programme is for butchers, meat suppliers, chefs and front of house colleagues alike to advance and hone their skills, providing practical and theoretical butchery for beef, lamb and pork, and cooking skills to offer the optimal customer service experience.
AHDB programme development manager, Dick Van Leeuwen, said "The programme was launched in 2012 to help bring much needed skills and expertise to the meat industry. Five years on and we have awarded almost 9,000 certificates.
"It's really positive that those with a bit of unexpected extra time on their hands are taking advantage of the programme. I hope more will, after all it's free, tailored to your role and business, and best of all, you can take the exam as many times as you need."
Murray Chapman, who runs volunteer group, A Passion to Inspire, has helped to bring the Meat Education Programme to virtual classrooms across a number of universities and colleges, and added: "MEP is a fantastic initiative to inspire and educate students and chefs."
AHDB, as a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain, also supports several initiatives across the sector, including Great British Beef Week, which takes place until the 30 April, spearheaded by a group of more than 150 female beef farmers across the UK.
To register for the Meat Education Programme, click here.