The Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) is set to offer bakery training in England for the first time, after securing financial backing from government to roll out its training programme.

The SAMB received the green light from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in north-east England, which provided £200,000 funding to deliver the Train to Gain programme in England, and it will be accessible by businesses across the whole of England.

The scheme, which has received the endorsement of the National Association of Master Bakers, will see the SAMB offe-ring NVQ Food Manufacturing qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 for any bakery employees over the age of 19. It will be delivered as work-based learning.

All training leading to an NVQ Level 2 in England for anyone over the age of 19 can be delivered at no cost to the employer, said the SAMB’s head of skills training Arthur Rayer. The LSC would meet all of the costs involved for people under 25 wishing to undertake NVQ Level 3 training.

The pathways available within Food Manufacture qualifications include Craft Bakery Skills, Process Bakery Skills, Retail and Service Support Skills and Distribution Skills. The Occu-pational Standards for qualifi- cations at Levels 2 and 3 were developed by Improve.

For companies employing less than 50 staff, an employer may apply for a contribution to wage costs when it is necessary to cover for a person undertaking training off the job. This contribution can be for up to 70 hours of a learner’s time at actual salary costs.

Meanwhile, the SAMB has confirmed its interest in joining the network of providers offering training as part of the new National Skills Academy for Bakery, which will reveal details of its trial programme in March.

l For details contact Arthur Rayer on 0131 229 1401 or by email to