When I was at school, I was sent, one day a week, to Tameside College in Manchester. Everyone at my school had to choose from a list of subjects they wanted to do - for example, bakery, hair and beauty etc. I wanted to do drama, but all the spaces had been taken. In fact, the only course that was not full was bakery and that’s how I ended up getting into it.

One day a week for two years, I came to college and baked. I really enjoyed it, so when the time came to choose what I wanted to do after school, I naturally wanted to take bakery. It wasn’t something I had considered before, but now I’m so pleased that things turned out this way.

As well as doing an NVQ Level 1 in bakery at Tameside College, I also work in an in-store bakery at the weekends. Here, I am gaining experience, different skills and certain responsibilities. Also, when I go to work in the store, I enjoy teaching people what I’ve learned at college.

Morrisons supermarkets tend to send a lot of students to Tameside College to do training courses, but this is not what I’m doing. I’m doing NVQ Level 1 full-time this year and will move on to Level 2 next year.

At Tameside, we bake every morning, often varying the products; so, one week, we will be making bread, another week making and decorating cakes, and another week we will be making morning goods, for example. Products we bake include French sticks, bloomers, teacakes, croissants, puff pastry, sausage rolls, jam puffs, Eccles cakes, bacon wraps and fruit tarts. We also make sandwiches each day.

college bakery shop

When we’ve finished baking and finishing the goods, they all go to our bakery shop in college, which is called Portland Bakery. Here we sell what we have made during the day. The money goes back into the college and helps to pay for extra equipment, ingredients and suchlike.

What’s great about Portland Bakery is that the other students and teachers in the college buy what we have made. Even people that do not go to the college can come in and buy bakery goods and they’re often a lot cheaper than in an average bakery. It would be nice if more ingredients suppliers and machinery suppliers got involved in our college.

Recently, three of us won a California Raisins competition and a trip to Switzerland. We’d love it if other companies were to get involved in this way. We want to enter more competitions, because they are great fun and can be extremely rewarding.

I love bakery and would recommend it to any school leaver. n