T his year, Rich Products will be sponsoring the Achievement in Bakery Training Award, which aims to highlight best practice in training and encourage the industry to invest more in its staff.

However, George Thomopoulos, MD of Rich Products, says the award is not just about rewarding training. "It’s about the application of the knowledge learnt to benefit personal development and the business as a whole. Rich’s is a family business that takes pride in its people. We invest heavily in driving innovation through our product range and our staff, ensuring that all our bakers receive the highest level of training.

"As bakers of exceptional quality, hand-finished frozen and daily ambient products, our people are vital."

Companies and individuals that have initiated or been involved in successful training programmes are encouraged to enter this award. Any size of company, making any type of baked product, is eligible to enter. Entrants do not have to be a customer of Rich’s to apply.

"By drawing attention to the need and benefits of staff training we can inspire others and encourage them to follow our example," says Thomopoulos. "Training helps to retain and develop staff and is attractive to prospective employees. This is especially important in an industry that is suffering from a skills shortage.

"Bakery, at its core, is a craft industry. It is exciting and fast-moving. We want to encourage bakers to develop their skills, take pride in what they do and inspire others to choose this enjoyable and rewarding career."

He adds: "We look forward to receiving the entries and announcing the winner at the Grosvenor House hotel. In the meantime, we wish you the best of luck!"