== Bakery education in the UK ==
Head, baking & cereals processing department, Campden BRI
As the National Skills Academy Champion for the bakery sector, our responsibility at Campden BRI is now to facilitate the development of a course curriculum that will suit employees of bakery companies of all sizes. The vision is for three levels of education, depending on employer and trainee needs. We shall be working with the employers and Further Education colleges in the UK.
To be effective, we must develop a curriculum that is attractive to both employers and students who attend the courses. Their education must enable them to add value when they return to their place of work. In our first meeting with industry and college representatives, we developed an outline curriculum for the Foundation Level pilot course, based on improving practical bakery skills and a better understanding of ingredients. The aim now is to take this to employers to ensure we are on the right track.
There are, of course, challenges ahead. We need to resolve many questions, such as how long should each level be, and how much time do the students need away from their place of work? What will a student be like 1) when they enrol on the course and 2) when they have completed it? What methods of learning should we use?
It will also be important that bakers who have completed the course can apply their learning where they work, whatever the size of bakery. I am confident that, as an industry, we can make this work.
The saying "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" may be true, and this is why we all need to provide a lot more learning to the baking industry!