Matthew May

Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees Representative

As we are all too aware, the economy is, currently, still in the process of "realigning" itself. In the news recently, we have been told that the rate of inflation is above the government’s target; public and private sectors are having to reduce costs and focus on becoming leaner; families are needing to tighten the purse strings; and there is still a level of uncertainty over how long the situation is going to last.

On top of all this, the baking industry is also having to cope with increases in the price of core raw materials and recouping the excess cost back from customers and consumers, who are already feeling the pinch themselves. Times do indeed look tough.

That said, history shows us that these times don’t last forever and that things will get better. The economy will improve, and those that weather the storm will emerge stronger as a result. I guess it is up to individuals as to how they feel they wish themselves or their companies to emerge stronger from the current climate.

I personally hope that the majority will at least see the benefit of maintaining staff development and education/training programmes. It can be too easy to see education and training as an unnecessary expense when times are hard. But what price can be put on members of staff who have the necessary skills to help pull businesses and the economy from recession and decline into businesses and an economy that can grow and prosper?