University College Birmingham (UCB) has seen bakery enrolment numbers reach record numbers on the back of the popularity of The Great British Bake Off.
More than 100 would-be bakers have signed up to study at the college for the 2013-14 academic year - up 37% since the BBC One programme first aired in 2010.
The college is even planning on launching a ‘Bake-Off’ degree to cater for the interest from school-leavers. The foundation degree in Bakery and Confectionery Technology Management will be aimed at entrepreneurs hoping to become chocolatiers, patissiers and artisan bakers.
The course has attracted a huge amount of interest, though it is not due to launch until 2014-15. It will feature modules on artisan bread-making, advanced confectionery and chocolate, and product design and development.
Dawn Gemmell, head of bakery and assistant dean at UCB, said: “We have seen a huge rise in interest in our bakery courses and there is no doubt the higher profile of baking on TV, particularly The Great British Bake Off, has been hugely influential.
“The show has introduced young people to the subject and reignited older viewers’ passion for making bread and cakes. Back in 1998, we had just 10 first-year students on the course. Last month, 107 enrolled at UCB.”
UCB’s courses attract people of all ages from amateurs looking to brush up their skills, to those looking to move into the profession as a full-time career.
Mother-of-three Manjit Palak, 49, enrolled on the level one bakery course last month. She is currently an office manager but said The Great British Bake Off inspired her to follow her dream of setting up a bakery or cake shop.