For decades, organisations in the industry have given awards, bursaries and scholarships to people in baking to enable them to develop their full potential. When every large town had its local bakery college, and the lecturer was well-known to the local baking community, persuading young workers and students to apply for these opportunities was relatively simple.

Now, however, times have changed. The remaining bakery departments are buried within larger departments in technical colleges, which have league tables and profit motives to consider. Similarly local bakers are under increased pressure and are reluctant to let their keen young bakers go away on courses.

Organisations consequently found the number of applicants for their awards were reducing and came together as Baking Excellence to try and improve take-up. We did this by bringing all the opportunities together at [].

With the help of the industry, Baking Excellence has tried to ensure that every baker and college in the UK knows of the free opportunities for staff and students.

There should be self-interest at work here. The switched-on bakeries know the value of improving staff. They know visits to other bakeries or practical courses can improve their profit. They know trained staff are more likely to stay. The same employers’ names appear on the list of winners year on year and Baking Excellence would like to widen the list even further.