A female baker with a tray of pastries ready for the oven

Source: Tesco

Tracey Gordon from the Bishop Auckland store

Tesco has partnered with Scottish Bakers to pilot an apprenticeship scheme to help upskill the staff that work in its scratch bakeries.

The retailer is trialling the new apprenticeship which will support employees in building new skills, enhancing in-store bakery knowledge and provide the tools to drive product quality in-store, it said. This is in addition to Tesco’s current bakery training offer.

The scheme will be classed as a Level 2 Bakery Apprenticeship. The modules covered are:

  • Principles of baking
  • Principles of bakery ingredients
  • Understand how to manufacture baked goods
  • Maintain quality and solve problems within the bakery
  • Understand how to carry out innovation and new product development in bakery
  • Demonstrate effective teamwork in baking
  • Produce fermented and enriched doughs
  • Produce cake and pastry products
  • Offer excellent customer service
  • Prepare, display, and manage stock in retail bakery.

“We really look forward to our colleagues having the ability to take part in this pilot and gain a nationally recognised Bakery Level 2 qualification. We also look forward to hearing the feedback throughout in regards to each individual learning journey,” said a spokesperson for Tesco.

A collage of a baker making croissants from scratch

Source: Tesco

Mark Draper, a baker from Tesco’s Durham store

The initial pilot features seven learners and has seen employees from Bishop Auckland, Durham, Oldham, Oxford, Plymouth, and Redditch take part in a programme designed to enhance their key skills, knowledge and behaviours in relation to craft bakery with the addition of in-store bakery customer service.

“The participants are learning hands on scratch baking and so far their colleagues have been delighted to sample fresh bakes such as croissants, bread, Swiss roll, scones and turnovers they have made as part of their learning,” said Scott Anderson, training and quality manager at National Food & Drink Training (NFDT) – the specialist training arm of Scottish Bakers.

Scottish Bakers chief executive Alasdair Smith added that a major factor in business growth is attracting new talent and retaining those skills through ongoing development.

“Apprenticeship training helps businesses become more productive and efficient by upskilling their new and existing workforce and delivers other benefits like reduced wastage, lower staff turnover and higher output,” Smith added.

“We believe more businesses need to recognise and invest in training to ensure their long-term sustainability.”

The apprenticeships are delivered on-the-job which Smith said means there is minimal downtime and impact on production. Training and assessments are conducted by the NFDT’s industry trainers.

The trial comes just a few months after Tesco unveiled a new in-store bakery concept called The Bakery. It’s made up of three core sections – Tea Time Treats, Everyday Favourites and Tesco Finest Signature Bakes – which have been designed to better showcase the range of products available.