I decided to go into baking after I finished school, rather than go on to study A-Levels. The reason I did this was because my mum had always baked at home and I really enjoyed helping her. So I enrolled just two days before the NVQ bakery course was about to start.
Currently, I’m at Tameside College in Manchester, studying NVQ Level Two Bakery, Patisserie and Cake Decorating, which includes making bread products, such as Danish pastries croissants, brioches and sweet doughs. In patisserie we bake a selection of hot and cold desserts, fine pastries and pies.
We also make a whole range of confectionery items, including cakes and biscuits. I love everything about baking and about Tameside College, I really feel like I’m at home.
I’m getting a little nervous now though, because I will be leaving full-time education at Tameside College this summer. I don’t want to go, as I’m going to miss everyone so much. Leaving the college is like the end of an era for me, I’ve had such a great time.
On the other hand, when my course finishes, I’m hoping to start a cake decorating job with a medium-sized bakery near my home. It supplies local hotels and restaurants. I’m a little excited but very anxious at the same time.
Eventually, I want to open up my own shop, so that I can do my own creations in my own style. I don’t really like people telling me what I have to do and would love to be my own boss, but I think that getting a shop now would be too stressful and too much pressure, although my parents would support me to do this.
making an impact
I am concerned that the baking industry is dying because there are not enough people wanting to enter the business. When my friends ask, "What are you doing?", and I say "An NVQ in bakery", they reply, "What are you doing that for?" They think that just because I’m not doing A-Levels, I’m not as good as they are. But I’m extremely proud of what I’ve achieved and, best of all, I love what I do. I think that I’ve done a lot more than most people my age and I already have a job lined up for when I finish college.
I think the main problem is that bakery needs to change its image. There need to be more bakers on TV, just as there are chefs like Gordon Ramsay, so that people can see the passion and skill involved in making the products. Then, more youngsters would look up to bakers and consider taking it up as a profession. n