The Scottish Association of Master Bakers’ (SAMB) training department feels very encouraged and positive about the future of bakery training in Scotland, especially for 2007. Although the current round of European Social Fund (ESF) programmes is almost at an end and the future of this funding is very uncertain, Scottish bakers can really benefit from the 2007 projects that have been approved. Through the Scottish Bakery Training Council (SBTC), which develops and manages the ESF projects, the SAMB can continue to offer training opportunities for employed adults across all of Scotland during 2007. The SBTC has secured European funding to support training projects with a total value of almost £575,000 to help train bakery staff at all levels. As well as training leading to Scottish Vocational Qualifications at Levels 1, 2 and 3, the money also helps to pay for management and technical training.

The bakery in the new Scottish Bakery Training Centre at Larbert is almost complete and already, the SAMB has been delivering courses using the conference/training room in the centre. Many of the courses on offer at the new centre for 2007 are linked to European funding and the range of new courses includes health and safety, food hygiene and HACCP at foundation and intermediate levels as well as a range of first aid courses. Many outside organisations are wishing to support SAMB and we will be able to offer many bakery, technical or management courses during the next year.

There is a very healthy and positive attitude to training within the Scottish baking industry. The level of interest from SAMB’s members and bakery suppliers for the new Scottish Bakery Training Centre, including many generous donations of equipment, is very positive for the future of training in Scotland, well beyond 2007.