A trainee and an instructor in a bakery lesson at Moulton College

Source: Moulton College

Leicestershire-based manufacturer Geary’s Bakeries has teamed up with Moulton College to train up a batch of new bakers.

A 16-strong cohort of apprentices will be given day releases from their work schedules at Geary’s to attend bespoke lessons at the Food & Drink Innovation Centre, located in the college’s main campus near Moulton village on the outskirts of Northampton.

The state-of-the-art facility, which was opened in 2019 following a Local Growth Funding programme from South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, is used by full and part-time students to obtain food and drink industry qualifications. It includes a professional bakery kitchen set to benefit from new equipment donated by Geary’s, including a spiral mixer, a four-deck oven, and a prover.

The programme will see Geary’s apprentices learn every aspect of bakery, from mixing and handling dough to health & safety, and packaging, culminating in a Level 2 Bakery qualification.

“We are passionate about developing our people so that we can continue to bake high-quality products,” said Geary’s managing director Josh Wesson. “With plans for future growth, it’s an exciting time to join us as we look to develop the next generation of bakers.”

Food and Drink Innovation Centre at Moulton College

Source: Moulton College

Moulton College’s Food and Drink Innovation Centre in Northamptonshire

Moulton College’s business development manager Gemma Cullinane expressed their gratitude to Geary’s for the donation of bakery equipment, saying they had been working closely with the firm to help them recruit the new apprentices.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming them in the autumn,” Cullinane added. “The combination of on-the-job training with Geary’s and the learning opportunities we can offer them here at Moulton will give them a great foundation for promising careers in bakery.”

Established in 1906, Geary’s is a fourth-generation family business currently employing 400 people across its three production sites in Leicestershire – two in Barrow upon Soar and one in Glenfield. It produces more than one million loaves and rolls a week, supplying retailers including M&S, Aldi, Tesco, and Waitrose with bread including sourdough loaves.

Its Jason’s brand unveiled a new Malted Ciabattin last month, made with flour from regenerative farming specialist Wildfarmed.