UK craft bakers to gain access to free apprenticeship training

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Apprenticeships provide learners with the skills required to set up a career in the industry for life. Pic: GettyImages/Phil Boorman
Apprenticeships provide learners with the skills required to set up a career in the industry for life. Pic: GettyImages/Phil Boorman

Related tags: Craft Bakers Association, Apprenticeship, Apprenticeship levy, Warburtons, Federation of Bakers, Hovis, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, National skills academy

The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD) is working with large manufacturers to create an apprenticeship levy transfer scheme for smaller craft bakers to access apprenticeship training for free.

The fund will see larger businesses freeing up their unspent apprenticeships reserves to enable smaller craft bakeries cover the full costs required for apprenticeship training.

Apprenticeships are essential for the whole bakery sector, providing learners with a good general baking knowledge and giving employers access to a wider pool of skilled workers.

According to George Fuller of Fullers Bakery, chairman of the Craft Bakers Association, employers need to assured that apprentices have been provided with the skills required to set up a career in the industry.

Cross-industry collaboration

To that aim, the NSAFD also coordinated a revision of the Baker Level 2 apprenticeship by a group of industry leaders, who are employers themselves. Fuller chaired the bakery group, which includes representatives from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Hovis and Warburtons, along with Gordon Polson representing the Federation of Bakers.

The revised Baker Level 2 apprenticeship is intended to provide learners with a good general knowledge of every aspect of baking, preparing them for a career in the industry, rather than just a job. It will also equip them with the flexibility and opportunity to work in different areas and roles – be it in the craft, plant or retail sector.

It has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) to launch in early 2021.

“The revised apprenticeship is a great example of cross-industry collaboration and has been excellently co-ordinated by the NSAFD. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work,”​ said Fuller.

“The apprenticeship has been designed to work across the whole baking industry, and to cover every element of the trade. Employers can be confident that those following it will have all the skills, knowledge and behaviours required and that apprentices completing the standard are set up for a career in the industry, for life.”

Diane Wilford, relationship manager, IFATE, added, “The bakery trailblazer group has worked incredibly hard this year to revise the Baker level 2 apprenticeship. It has been updated to meet requirements that have come into place since its initial development and to build on effective practice. It is an exemplary apprenticeship and will be available to potential students early next year. A big thank you to George and the team for their tireless commitment.”

Apprenticeship levy transfer scheme

Louise Cairns, CEO of NSAFD, said, “The apprenticeship levy transfer scheme is a great opportunity for smaller bakery businesses to receive the full amount of money required train an apprentice.

“It is a great example of the industry working together, for the success of the whole and we would encourage any craft bakeries interesting in discussing this to get in touch.”

The bakery trailblazer group will start work on updating the Level 3 Baker Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standard in early 2021 and expects this to be ready to roll out by the middle of the year.

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