Coopland & Son (Scarborough) has recognised trainee bakers undertaking an in-house apprenticeship programme at its new bakery college, during a presentation evening at Hull College last night.

The firm, which decided to set up its own bakery college within its Hull manufacturing site last October, presented certificates to 16 apprentices completing their first year of a three-year nationally-recognised training programme designed specifically by Cooplands.

The firm’s Diploma for Proficiency in Baking Industry Skills, provided at both Level 2 and Level 3, covers a wide range of bakery skills, including fermented dough production, confectionery production and finishing, as well as savoury and sweet pastry production.

Chris Wainwright, production director at Coopland & Son, told British Baker: “This college and Diploma was something we decided to set up a couple of years ago, because we saw a need to train our own staff up to the standard we require. We wanted to do it ourselves, so that we had total control over the content of the course.

“Our factory in Hull is a large site and we had the room now, which was an ideal space to set up as a bakery college.”

Apprentices undertaking the programme have spent between one and two days at Coopland’s bakery college, partaking in both practical and classroom-based training. The remaining days of the week have been dedicated to a 156-week work programme, designed on a bespoke basis for each trainee, who will spend time working on different types of machinery and skill areas at the company’s plant bakery sites.

Coopland’s bakery college Diploma, which has been supported by Hull College, was delivered to the first batch of first-year students by Joe Davidson, bakery consultant and ex-chief executive of Associated British Foods.

Apprentices going into their second year, which will be the first year of their Level 3 Diploma, are being taught by Jane Hatton, formerly of Brooklands College.

Wainwright also presented a number of special awards to individual apprentices on behalf of the company including Apprentice of the Year, which was awarded to Catherine Postance. Michael Denton received the Best Portfolio Technical Award, while Christina Gibbons was presented with the Best Practical Development title.