The British Society of Baking Spring Conference scored a first last week. Instead of being held at a hotel, 70 delegates descended on Tameside College, near Manchester to hear topical presentations and to see and taste what the students are achieving.

Tameside tutor Lorna Jones, gave an upbeat presentation promising employers: "Tell us what you need and we will deliver." She also challenged bakers to offer her students placements, so they gain industry experience.

Nigel Davies of Muntons spoke about green issues and explained how using malt can save bakers time. Vera Foreman of Morrisons spoke passionately about the bakery training programme she set up at the retailer 15 years ago. And Sarah Autton took students and delegates along her career path from bakery student to company director of Fermex.

Then, students faced an expert Dragons’ Den panel, in which they had to present a new commercial product and state the recipes and quantities used. The winner was student Kim Price.

l A full conference report will appear in the next issue of BB.