Funding for bakery training in Scotland is "in dire straits" according to Arthur Rayer, head of skills training for the Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB). It is in danger of losing all European funding.
"The Scottish government has already ceased to fund anyone over 19 years old in all sectors except construction, engineering and automotive trades," Rayer told British Baker. "In England, there is funding for initiatives such as Train to Gain, but in Scotland the government decided food training could be funded by the Scottish Rural Development Programme. However, this means only primary food producers such as growers or farmers are eligible for European Social Funding now, as opposed to those who ’process’ food such as bakers," he said.
Rayer added: "We have talked to the SNP government in power, and to civil servants who have been in place during the past Labour government, but are not hopeful that the decision will be turned around.
"We have been training 800 people a year, but this year there will be a greatly reduced number."
Those in existing training will be allowed to complete their courses, he said.