Matthew May

Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees Representative

Two years ago the ’One Voice’ meeting was held at the NEC in Birmingham during the Baking Industry Exhibition. The event was called in response to an industry-wide acceptance that the current education and training provision was falling short of delivering industry requirements.

During the meeting, a proposal was put forward to industry that would help facilitate the development of a suitable education and training programme. The proposal was accepted unanimously and it was agreed that a cross-industry Steering Group be set up to move the project forward.

Two years on, it is pleasing to report that the Steering Group and the National Skills Academy (NSA) have made steady progress in the development and delivery of a relevant education and training package for the industry. Campden BRI, the Network Champion, has been working with the Steering Group, the NSA and the Provider Network to develop a training package suitable for the industry. The pilot course has now been run in the north west and has received positive feedback. That said, there is still a great deal to be done and the whole industry needs to stay engaged with the process that it agreed to embark upon two years ago.

Let’s be clear. We have come a long way over the past two years and that is something we should all be extremely proud of. However, we need to maintain and build the momentum to ensure the initiative stays on track and delivers what we, as an industry, want. The industry cannot afford to let this initiative fail; its very future depends on its success.