Skills Academy plans push ahead

18 April, 2008
Page 4 
Leading figures from across the baking industry are being invited to join a representative steering group to push forward plans for a new National Skills Academy for Bakery, following a successful skills summit at the Baking Industry Exhibition last week.
Justine Fosh, director of the National Skills Academy, told the One Voice for Training conference that between five and 10 bakery employers from craft, plant and the major retailers are being sought to thrash out a common path for the sector over the next two weeks. The steering group's remit will cover training and qualification needs, long-term funding and identifying a training provider as a hub or 'champion' of the academy, alongside other skills providers.The National Skills Academy was launched in August 2007, in a bid to support the government's 2006 Leitch Report on skills, which threatens levies on emp-loyers if progress towards mee- ting training needs is not made.Delivering John Renshaw's keynote conference paper in absentia, British Bakels' MD Paul Morrow urged a unified industry-wide stance on upping skills levels. He said: "The creation of skills academies is the main opportunity for employers to grasp the agenda and demand the kind of training and skills development we feel we need in our businesses, so that no longer is our business growth restricted by skills gaps."Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees general secretary Matthew May said maintaining the momentum would be critical to establishing the academy: "What it cannot turn into is a talking shop. If the industry agrees that is what needs to happen, we need to make it happen, and it's a long-term commitment." To get involved in shaping the future of bakery training, contact Justine Fosh, tel: 0845 644 0558 or email j.fosh@ foodanddrink.nsacademy.co.uk



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