Thursday, 14 December 2017


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Bakery and confectionery are not the only industries confronting with an apprentice and trainee crisis, but they may gain over an opportunity that other industries don’t have: image. Nowadays, we can see an important improvement of the traditional chef portrait, along with the traditional baker and confectioner images.

By Ioana Oancea

Everyone wants to eat healthy, wants to try new food, wants to cook, wants to bake bread and traditional or modern confectionery items. The industry has to get the most out of this situation and attract new staff by selling the image of a new enthusiastic professional. The apprentice has to see what they can become if they choose this professional trajectory.

In the past few years, suedback organizers and the German associations of bakers and confectioners mentioned the lack of new apprentices and trainee in the field as a concerning issues. This year, they decided to be actively involved in the recruitment and training process and they are inviting vocational schools to experience at suedback trade fair the opportunities that are available in the trade.

On the other hand, in the UK, Unite, the largest trade union, and global biscuit and confectionery company pladis, confronting a similar issue, have signed an Engineering Apprenticeship Agreement. 

The agreement sets the gold standard for apprenticeships; by 2020, the partnership will have enabled the recruitment of close to 50 new apprentices into engineering roles at pladis.

Beyond the good image of bakers or confectioners, now we can see in television shows, on social media, blogs and portals and, of course, at events, a new type of professional that is really passionate and satisfied about their career. Despite the fact that many of them are self-employed or they are running their own businesses, it is the passion for baking that gives their professional satisfaction essentially, aside from financial considerations and, for employees, from the relationship with the employer. These are not just my ideas, but are also the result of a research conducted by Bare International, a mystery customer research company.

Their studies revealed the necessity of the employee to have their work recognized and to become a professional in his field. The company also mentions the financial part and the necessity of respecting the initial agreement, but the feeling of personal growth and the feeling that his work is important are truly strengthens.

On the other hand, it is important for the employees to have access to trainees and new equipment which help them to improve their qualifications and performances.

But researchers say that the most important is communicating company insights, as the main strategy and financial directions, and overall transparency is also an important aspect.

Related articles: 

BLOG: New Product Development – A Fine Line... 

BLOG: In the Spotlight: Innovation in Packaging   

BLOG: Being a Craft Bakery Takes Guts 

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