Jones Village Bakery Tilly Squire

Source: Jones Village bakery

Apprentice Tilly Squire joined the business when she was 16

Welsh baked goods supplier Jones Village Bakery has announced a series of measures to help its staff during the cost-of-living crisis.

From 4 December, all operational workers will be paid at least the Real Living Wage. This means everyone, including 16-year-old school leavers, will get at least £10.90 an hour.

The Wrexham-based business has signed up to a loyalty scheme that means its 800 staff can get discounts of up to 6% on weekly shops at retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda. Employees are also entitled to cut-price deals for holidays, gym membership and restaurant meals, and a 30% discount on Jones Village Bakery products.

“We’re all going through a cost-of-living crisis at the moment, so our aim is to do as much as we can to help our staff ride out the economic storm,” said HR manager Jason Page.

Managing director Robin Jones explained that the decision to pay the Real Living Wage represented an investment of more than £1m. It comes as businesses across the industry are struggling to recruit and retain staff.

Jones Village Bakery, which employs 800 workers, is looking to take on another 40 staff over the next few months. It is introducing an extra shift on its new £16m production line that makes a range of M&S sourdough loaves, and a new pancake line due to go live next year.

“We want to reward our staff because they are a vital ingredient in our success story as we continue to grow,” he said. “We need people to come on the journey with us and this is a great way of attracting people to come and join the team.”

Jones added that 17-year-old Tilly Squire was a great example of a rising star in the business. She joined the bakery aged 16, working as a packer initially and later signing up for the company’s apprenticeship programme and working in the product development kitchen.

“I went straight onto the adult wage so I get the same as everybody else because I do the same work,” she said. “I’m enrolled on the apprenticeship scheme and working towards my Level 2 qualification, which I’m really excited about. Working in the new product development kitchen is a great opportunity.”