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Trade body Scottish Bakers will be able to train 481 apprentices during 2021-22 following the renewal of its contract by government agency Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Businesses signing up apprentices will have access to the programme run by Scottish Bakers’ training arm, National Food and Drink Training (NFDT). All advisers are experienced bakers or practitioners in manufacturing and retail operations, the trade body said.

The programme will be supported by a range of training materials, including an online food and drink academy.

Alasdair Smith, chief executive of Scottish Bakers and NFDT, welcomed the renewal of the SDS contract. “This means that government support continues to be available to train new recruits and upskill existing staff,” he said.

“The last 12 months have been difficult for the employers we work with and for us, but we have high hopes that many food and drink manufacturing businesses will be looking at skills development as one of the ways in which they can rebuild after so many months of hardship, and it is great to know we have the confirmed capacity to help them do just that.”

Scott Anderson, NFDT training & quality manager, said he was proud of the ‘high quality’ training provided by the organisation.

“We are regularly audited by the various qualification bodies that we work with which allows us to maintain our high standards, and regularly exceed average completion rates for our programmes.

“We work with a diverse range of businesses from the smallest craft baker to large manufacturing businesses in baking and beyond into the food processing and manufacturing, dairy, seafood and sea fish, whisky and soft drinks sectors,” Anderson added.