Bakery Assistant, J B Christie
Stephen joined J.B. Christie in 2016 after a period of unemployment following a serious knee injury. Previous employment with a burger chain ensured he had a basic grounding in the demands of the food sector, and so he found the move into a commercial bakery relatively straightforward.
Stephen began working in the bakery's washroom, before taking on wider responsibilities for cleaning and hygiene throughout the bakery and starting to volunteer to help the bakers with their duties.
Stephen put himself forward to join Christie's apprenticeship programme as he was keen to develop himself.
"I am really motivated and keen to learn more about baking, so I thought it was important to push myself forward for the apprenticeship,"
"Stephen takes a lot of initiative in the bakery to help others and to ensure he gets experience of all the different parts of our work in the bakehouse."
Previous experience of working towards a vocational qualification ensured Stephen understood how the process of learning and assessment worked, and so this aspect of the process was familiar.
"The paperwork and assessments were all quite straightforward," said Stephen. "I just had to make sure I managed my time as effectively as possible so that I could have the work ready when the trainer visited."
Stephen says the clearest benefit is understanding why he must do certain tasks, rather than just knowing what they are. Having a wider understanding of what goes on across the bakery also means that colleagues view him differently.
"I'm not seen as just the cleaner," says Stephen, "but as someone who can help out with a broad range of tasks and who is keen to learn baking skills."
The programme has helped to build Stephen's confidence in his own abilities, and he is now far more ambitious as a result. He is planning to continue his development and is keen to learn more about the bakery's range of products and develop his career.
National Food and Drink Training (NFDT) was established in 2015 as a rebrand of Scottish Bakers training provision. This was a direct result of the strengthening of its portfolio to include lean manufacturing techniques and the delivery of the new Food Manufacturing Excellence (FME) qualifications.
National Food & Drink Training
c/o Scottish Bakers
Unit 2, Halbeath Interchange Business Park
01383 661 555