The National Skills Academy (NSA) has hailed the pilot of a new broad-based bakery course, entitled Professional Bakery, a "huge success".

The pilot evaluation, revealed last week, received positive feedback from the 47 trainees and seven participating employers: the former from gaining a better understanding of what processes are aiming to achieve; and the latter seeing improved productivity due to knock-on benefits, such as reductions in waste in the workplace.

The next stage will be to accredit and market the course likely to be ready in June this year. Nine NSA-accredited colleges have now signed up as part of the training provision network.

The course development has involved thorough revision of existing course materials and facilities to check their relevance to today’s industry. "The facilities at participating colleges were excellent, but we needed to revise material," said Paul Catterall of co-ordinator Campden BRI.

Meanwhile, craft baker Ian Thompson’s chairmanship of the skills steering group has now expired and the NSA is inviting interested parties to take up the role. Contact Jonathan Cooper on 07813 774425 or at

l See Training Update, pg 18