Aspiring bakers will get to compete in an Apprentice-style contest for the chance to bag paid training with Fosters Bakery in Barnsley.

The challenge, dubbed ’The Great Apprenticeship Bake-Off’, will invite a shortlist of candidates to its factory for an induction to bakery and training on 11 February. The day will involve an interview and a baking competition; each candidate will be assigned a mentor to work with, which will include one of Fosters’ retired bakers who will come back to help out.

Candidates will finish the day by giving a presentation of the products they make to the sales team, managers and MD John Foster.

Operations director Michael Taylor said: "We think we’ll get about 20 applicants, who will be whittled down to six candidates for the day. We also want to make sure that Barnsley College gets a relationship with the candidates."

Fosters Bakery, which already employs six apprentices, will work with the National Apprenticeship Service and Barnsley College to look at opportunities for the unsuccessful applicants.

"The government’s approach to skills has changed quite considerably, so it’s not just about assessing competence, but much more about giving real education through apprenticeships," said National Skills Academy director Justine Fosh. "Virtually all the funding from government will be behind apprenticeships."

• In related news, The National Apprenticeship Awards 2011 have been launched to find England’s top apprentices and apprentice employers. The awards, run by the National Apprenticeship Service, are open to all organisations that employ apprentices, and to apprentices themselves.