SAINSBURY’S YOUNG GUNS

first_imgNot every teenager walks away from school with qualifications. For some, it is simply not the right environment for them to learn. As a consequence, many employers are likely to reject their applications for jobs because they do not have the minimum entry requirements – usually GCSEs in English and maths.But Sainsbury’s has decided to give these young adults a chance by offering them an on-the-job education beyond the classroom. It has invited 16- to 24-year-olds without any formal qualifications to apply to become apprentice bakers in its stores – even if they’ve never baked a loaf of bread. All they need is bags of enthusiasm, a positive attitude and a hunger to learn. In return, they will learn a trade in a scratch bakery, gain a nationally recognised qualification and earn a wage.The scheme is the first of its kind to be set up by a supermarket in the UK. As Johanna Jones, training development manager, explains: “Some firms insist they must have GCSE maths and English. But we’ve never said that. As a company that went against our ethos of what an apprenticeship is about. Some young adults don’t leave school with exam passes; perhaps it wasn’t the right place for them to learn. We feel that some learn best by working on the job.”So far, 12 youngsters have started the first phase of the 18-month scheme in 10 Sainsbury’s stores in the northeast of England. The company hopes to recruit a further 10 apprentices in September and another 10 in January – these will be for supermarkets in Oxford and London. And by 2008 or 2009, there should be up to 400 in total working in stores around the country. “Ideally we would like an apprentice in every store,” says Jones, “but that wouldn’t necessarily work because they don’t all have scratch bakeries. Our smaller ones just have bake-off products and I don’t feel an apprentice would gain enough of the skills needed if they were based in that area.”These skills include learning how to make bread, cakes and pastries using Sainsbury’s recipes and specifications. This may seem restrictive to a potential applicant, but there is a possibility they can produce their own sample loaf, using their own recipe, towards the end of the course. BROAD-BASED PROGRAMMEThe programme also covers everything from ingredients, sourcing and problem-solving to stock management, production planning, quality standards, machinery and health and safety.They will also be given training in selling techniques and communication, as part of the job will involve talking to customers about products and dealing with complaints.Sainsbury’s has spent nearly a year developing the scheme with the sector skills council Skillsmart Retail. A lot of background work was required to ensure the framework and units met their business requirements. It includes three basic elements: NVQ Level 2; a technical certificate; and key literacy and numeracy skills. Apprentices who successfully complete the course are awarded a certificate entitled Retail Apprenticeship with a Bakery Specialism, Level Two.There are no essays and exams, although some trainees may need to pass separate assessments in English and maths. In-store and independent assessors closely monitor the trainees, who are taught by senior bakery staff, and evaluate their progress. They are looking for good all-round bakers, but any trainee who is finding a particular unit difficult will be given extra help. They also have a ‘buddy’ on hand – usually a ‘neutral’ manager in another department – to offer advice and support. A member of Jones’ small team also rings them once a week to offer assistance. And she has also tried to enlist the help of their parents at home – particularly when the trainees have to get up at 4.30am.This level of support is a key element of the scheme and this is what Jones believes sets them apart from other apprenticeships. She hopes it will also be a factor in encouraging the trainees to remain with the company at the end of the 18-month scheme, although they are not tied into a contract. Sainsbury’s has set an ambitious completion rate for its trainees of 90% – the current national rate for retail is around 37%. As Jones explains: “Across the board we are all very similar in terms of pay and benefit, but I think the clincher is the value part of it. We feel that if we treat them fairly and actually value them, then they won’t leave us. People will be loyal to us because of the training they have been given.”The company receives government funding of about £3,400 for each 16- to 19-year-old, which is about a third of the cost. Jones admits the overall cost to set it up and promote it, as well as recruitment and salaries, was high. But in the long term, she says, it will be beneficial, particularly if they expand their scratch bakeries. “There are lots of rumours that other supermarkets are looking at increasing the percentage of bake-off products because of cost. But this is something we’re not doing.” The company claims 90% of its customers buy fresh bread from its stores.SHORING UP FUTURE SKILLSSainsbury’s set up the scheme to attract people back into the trade and hone the skills of its future bakers. The move is a response to a sharp decline in the numbers of skilled bakers in the marketplace. Like many supermarkets, the company has had difficulties recruiting – a problem that Jones believes stems largely from schools and industry. She says: “Bakery is something that really isn’t mentioned. It also doesn’t have a good image in terms of hip and cool. I think we’ve got a big part to play in actually selling it as a career.” There is also a misconception among some people that a baker in a supermarket simply heats up products, when they have actually been made on-site. As Jones says: “You can see why people don’t see it as a career when they just see it as bake-off.”The scheme is aimed at young adults, but the company says it will consider any suitable person who is older and wants a career change. Before they are recruited, candidates are invited to spend an eight-hour shift working in the bakery. This is an opportunity for them to find out more about the job and whether they want to pursue it as a career. They also experience the working environment, which can be harsh, particularly, in the summer when it can get very hot. During the shift, staff assess them, and the feedback – which includes whether they worked safely, asked questions and used common sense – goes into the final selection process. Applicants are initially invited to apply via a direct email campaign, aimed primarily at 16- to 24-year-olds in the postal areas where Sainsbury’s is recruiting. It is the first time the company has used such a selection process.There are also in-store posters and advertisements in the local press, on local radio, job centres and at Connexions, a government regional support service for young people. Included in the information is guidance, mainly for school-leavers, on what to wear when they come into the store for an interview.The north-east of England was chosen to launch the scheme because, as a business region, it was considered to have a high commitment to training. It also does not have the same recruiting problems as other parts of the country. In fact, the stores in the region didn’t need any bakers. But, as Jones explains, the retailer wanted to test the scheme in an area where there was a low turnover of bakery managers, so that they could help to implement it. “For us, this first year is about us learning and how we can run the programme in the future,” she says.The stores also recruited their own apprentices, rather than head office. This was to ensure that the candidates felt supported by that store and had accountability to the manager who hired them.Out of the 12 recruited in the first phase, there were seven external young adults and five already working at Sainsbury’s – two had just started in bakery and three were from other departments. At the recent launch party for the scheme at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle, representatives from Sainsbury’s and the National Learning Skills Council met up with the new recruits. The company also invited the trainees’ parents to go along to find out more about the job and the types of products that would be baked.MUTUAL SUPPORTJones says: “The launch night was a celebration of the fact that we have got this far and to say welcome to them. When we saw the apprentices all together with their parents, it was absolutely amazing.”The apprentices are encouraged to keep in contact with each other to offer mutual help and support. The company is also looking into setting up a chat room for them on their website and is arranging several group days out to other bakeries.Once they have qualified as fully-trained bakers, they can apply for other opportunities within the company. For example, with additional training, they can go on to become bakery managers.Jones has also linked up with the Prince’s Trust to find out about recruiting directly for young disadvantaged adults who have been through the charity’s programme and want to better themselves. There is also an opportunity to work with the Trust using employed and unemployed youngsters in a community project.And ‘community’ is key to the apprenticeship scheme. It is all part of what Jones refers to as Sainsbury’s corporate social responsibility to the communities in which it is based. The company is also considering setting up similar programmes in other departments, such as fishmongery. As she says: “We want parents to know that if their child shows a spark for food or cooking, then they will know that, in a Sainsbury’s close to them, they can get a trade and learn a craft.“So many young adults are wiped off because they didn’t gain their GCSEs,” she adds. “But I’ve got senior managers who haven’t got any formal academic qualifications and have worked their way up. This is about allowing the next generation to be able to do that.”APPRENTICE PROFILESteven PowAge 22Bakery apprenticeTeam Valley storeTyne and Wear“I heard about the job at the Job Centre. It was the type of thing that I was looking for – a permanent job with prospects of a career. I had not thought about being a baker before. I’d done some cooking at school and at home but not done it as a job.I am enjoying the course. I have been doing it for three months now and have got another 15 months before I complete it. I am the only apprentice on the scheme in the store, but all the other bakers help me. I can only bake Sainsbury’s products – I make different loaves, baps and French sticks.I have to get up at 4am but I live close to the store – just a couple of hundred metres up the road.I would really recommend this apprenticeship scheme to others: the pay is good; you get assessed every two weeks throughout the course; you also do maths and English and learn about health and safety and counter training – it is like a retail apprenticeship as well as bakery.If I am working in the afternoons, I meet quite a few customers and slice the bread for them. They also ask questions about the bread, which I like.I would like to stay with Sainsbury’s and hopefully go for promotion. I am the only baker in the family and they are proud of me.It’s also really helpful to talk to Maxine when I get stuck with things.” Maxine Harmieson (Steven’s ‘buddy’)Duty manager fresh foodsTeam Valley storeTyne and Wear“It was decided that I would ‘buddy’ Steven because, in some of the trial areas, buddies haven’t worked as well when they have been bakery managers. I am impartial, which means Steven can come to me with any concerns or issues. His bakery manager mentors him on a day-to-day basis, but I am a second person if there is something he feels he couldn’t broach in the bakery department. We are really proud to be the first region in Sainsbury’s to be trialling this. Steven, who we are all very chuffed with, is the baker who has made the most progress. From day one he has been keen and you can see he is genuinely enjoying what he is doing. When you think he has been working with experienced bakers, who have been working for 20 or 30 years, it is quite daunting for a young lad. There are 17 in the baking department – with seven bakers. The apprenticeship scheme could have a far-reaching effect for Sainsbury’s because bakers are quite hard to come by, as are good bakery managers and experienced bakers. The salary rate that supermarkets offer, sometimes isn’t as competitive as stand-alone bakeries. But we are getting people trained in exactly the way we want them to be and we pride ourselves on the quality aspect of it. We also provide a good environment for learning. It is definitely the way forward.”last_img read more

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Ingredients watch

first_imgFollowing British Cheese Week, which ran until last Sunday, new research suggests that when it comes to sandwich, pasty and pie fillings, British cheese may be more of a selling point than Continental varieties.According to the latest research from international market analyst Mintel, Lancashire, Cheshire and Red Leicester are preferable to British consumers than Brie, Camembert and Emmental.The report says that the sales of regional British cheese increased by 16% between 2004 and 2006, to reach a value of £220m. Market value for Continental cheese, on the other hand, fell by 7% between 2004 and 2006 to £340m.”With growing interest in environmental and ethical concerns, we are becoming interested in the origin of our food,” said David Bird, senior consumer analyst at Mintel. “As a result, we are seeing a growing trend towards ’buying British’, which has provided a boost for sales of British regional cheese.”Cheddar accounted for over half (52%) of all cheese sales in the UK last year, having grown 7% between 2004 and 2006 to reach £985m. “Cheddar has clearly stood the test of time and is still a British staple,” added Bird.The total British cheese market was worth £1.9bn in 2006, having increased 4% between 2004 and 2006. Sales are set to rise to £1.93bn this year – “no mean feat” considering the trend towards healthy eating, according to Mintel’s report.Seriously Strong Cheddar from the Caledonian Cheese Company was named Supreme Champion at this year’s British Cheese Awards, part of British Cheese Week.last_img read more

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Bakery start-up – rising to the challenge

first_imgBy Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic business accelerator specialising in bakery, foodservice and convenience retailMy grandfather, George Hilton, owned and ran his own bakery in Scarborough, North Yorkshire; and I can still remember the wonderful aroma of the freshly baked breads, pastries and doughnuts! They say the apple never falls far from the tree and I’d like to think, in my small way, that I’m following in my grandfather’s footsteps.So what’s involved in starting up your own bakery offer or coffee shop? For starters, you need a business plan. It is really important to formulate your business right from the start, setting yourself key milestones and objectives. Focus on location, demographics, product range, pricing and product margins, to name a few.Other areas of consideration include local competition, space allocation, suppliers, shop fitting and equipment and, most importantly, your customers.Starting with your core range of products, establish what your customers are looking for. Him! told us that 26% of bakery retail customers want snacking products in-between meal occasions and 21% are on a food and drink mission (Coffee Shop Report 2009). Breakfast offers can increase your sales by 25% between 6am and 10am and you should really consider serving those delicious pastries with a tea or coffee, as him! reported 14% of customers are looking for a meal deal combination. Plus, you can achieve an 80% margin on hot beverages.If, for instance, you are close to public transport, your outlet could be a destination for morning commuters. In this case, a coffee and take-away offer will definitely drive your sales.The next step is to find appropriate equipment and product suppliers. As in life, choosing the right partner can be a bit tricky. Consider visiting a national exhibition, where you can see first-hand the range of suppliers and products available. After planning your offer in line with your customers, take a look at the calendar and prepare for seasonal events with the right promotions.l See the next column for more bakery start-up tipslast_img read more

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Prima goes for local approval

first_imgScorrier-based bakery Prima Bakeries has launched a range of Cornish sliced bread lines in a bid to take on “the big boys”. The six lines feature a brand new Cornish heart logo, and can be distributed across Cornwall.The range consists of three sandwich loaves and three farmhouse loaves, both in white, multigrain and wholemeal.”The sliced bread market is currently dominated by four huge national businesses,” said MD Mark Norton. “Customer demand has prompted us to do much more in the bread area and to offer a genuine Cornish alternative to the national brands.” The loaves are handmade by craft bakers, and the firm said it anticipates the need to recruit more bakers to cope with demand if the early response level is maintained.last_img read more

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S M Bayne takes on Fords shops

first_imgFife-based bakery S M Bayne has added five shops to its estate, moving it into the top 30 in the BB75 table of bakery retailers, by store number.The additional stores were purchased from Scottish rival Fords Bakery in Prestonpans, taking its current total to 48 shops. Fords Bakery went into administration last summer; its bakery business was sold to Scullions Wholesale Bakery, a subsidiary of the McGhee Group, but its nine shops were closed.Bayne’s currently employs around 400 staff, and the acquisition will see the firm move into new territory in Scotland, with two outlets in Musselburgh and one each in Prestonpans, Portobello and Currie.Bayne’s MD Stanley Bayne said: “Our team has been working hard over the last few years to develop the retail offering and we are looking forward to introducing Bayne’s to the Lothians.”The new shops will be staffed predominantly with former Fords employees. Bayne’s manufactures rolls, bread and cakes for wholesale and retail markets.>>Scullions come to the rescue for Fordslast_img read more

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Reporting in

first_imgWhat a busy first month in office I have had, starting with the very successful NAMB conference at Blackpool. A lot of people have said how much they enjoyed the weekend, and many thanks to all those who offered me their best wishes and support for my year in office.I then attended the ABST conference at Alton Towers. Under the presidency of John Renshaw, the ABST has seen the event expand with over 300 going this year, and the students were well-behaved and fully involved. Some delegates even covered the cost of attending by making and selling bakery goods off their own bats.Driving up the M5 to Alton Towers I had time to think about my time as a student. When I left school my father took me to Southampton bakery college to see about enrolling on a day-release course. There, we met Bernard Leach, who persuaded us that a full-time course would be beneficial for me. With his encouragement, later that year, a mini-bus full of students set off for our first bakery conference. He took us around the competitions, explaining the method, quality and workmanship required for exhibitions work, and even arranged a bakery visit on the way home. To us, first-year students, it was a level of craftsmanship to aspire to.At this year’s conference I was asked to be a judge for confectionery under the guidance of Hugh Weeks and Jean Grieves. It was a great experience for me and even furthered my education.In these stringent times, it is so easy to just turn up to the conference and do the bare minimum. But if you are involved in bakery training, why not bring a group along next year? After all, a little extra encouragement could help to expand your students’ trade knowledge.last_img read more

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Krispy Kreme dismisses Enfield riot tweets

first_imgKristy Kreme has moved to dismiss Twitter postings suggesting that its Enfield store with onsite bakery was burned down in the London disturbances last night (Sunday, 7 August).Krispy Kreme was a trending topic on Twitter on Monday morning, with tweets such as “A Krispy Kreme is ablaze in Enfield”, “They’ve burned a Krispy Kreme down in the riots. Are they donuts?” and “They’re saying the Krispy Kreme factory in Enfield has been burned down. Now it’s personal.”However, a spokesman for Krispy Kreme said: “Following last night’s riots, our Enfield store sustained some minor damage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt and the damaged areas, which consisted of four broken windows, are already being fixed. The store is open for business as normal today.”Meanwhile, bakeries such as London craft wholesaler Flourish were counting the costs of the riots.Operations manager Shuk Ng told British Baker that the company had not been able to deliver to customers for two days as the roads around Tottenham were locked down. She expected the situation to continue for a further three or four days.last_img read more

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Elkhart city employees may see pay raise following salary study

first_img Pinterest By Brooklyne Beatty – June 2, 2020 0 497 Elkhart city employees may see pay raise following salary study (Photo supplied/City of Elkhart) Elkhart city employees may be seeing a pay raise soon.The Elkhart City Council met Monday and discussed two proposed salary ordinances, which call for a salary adjustment for many civil staff as well as an appropriation to pay following a recently completed salary study.The study, conducted by the firm of Waggoner, Irwin and Scheele (WIS), studied the city’s salaries in 2018 and 2019 and determined that many positions are underpaid in comparison with other public positions of similar duties.Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson recommends adjustments in pay following the study’s results.Monday, the City Council passed the ordinances onto a second reading, which is set to occur on June 15. IndianaLocalNews Pinterest Google+ Facebook Previous articleHolcomb: National Guard troops remain ready to help local policeNext articleMichigan auto insurers ordered to issue refunds, waivers following pandemic Brooklyne Beattycenter_img Twitter Facebook TAGScity councilcivil staffElkhartIndianairwin and ScheelepayraiseRod RobersonsalariesstudyWaggonerWIS Google+ WhatsApp WhatsApp Twitterlast_img read more

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Woman, 29, charged in connection with deadly chain reaction crash in South Bend

first_img By Jon Zimney – June 30, 2020 0 646 Pinterest Previous articleOnly pro baseball in Indiana this summer likely to be in South BendNext articleMotorcyclist killed in Kosciusko County crash Monday Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Woman, 29, charged in connection with deadly chain reaction crash in South Bend Twitter Google+ Google+ WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews (Photo supplied/ABC 57) A woman has been charged in the chain-reaction rear-end crash that killed two people and injured several others in South Bend.The collision happened just before 3 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, at Lincoln Way West and Bendix Drive when the driver of a Chrysler 200 allegedly rear-ended a Saturn Ion. This caused a chain reaction crash when the Saturn Ion was pushed into a Chevy Trax, which pushed the Trax into a Ford Focus. The Ford Focus then was pushed into a BMW 750.The drivers of the Ion, Trax, Focus, and BMW were waiting on Lincoln Way West, all in the eastbound lane, for the light to turn when the collision occurred.The driver of the Chrysler 200 was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.The driver of the second car, the Saturn Ion, identified as a 44-year-old man, was taken to the hospital and at last information was in critical condition.The Ion’s front seat passenger, Tajuanna Norris, 47, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The rear passenger side passenger of the Ion, identified as Tony Griffin, 37, was also pronounced deceased at the scene. A fourth occupant of the Ion, the rear driver side passenger, identified as A 5-year-old boy, was taken to the hospital and at last information was in critical condition.Raeaunna White is charged with two counts of reckless homicide, two counts of reckless driving, one count of false information, and one count driving while suspended.White is currently hospitalized for injuries suffered in the crash. Facebook WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest Twitterlast_img read more

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Pop-up vaccination clinic coming to South Bend this weekend

first_img WhatsApp Pop-up vaccination clinic coming to South Bend this weekend Facebook Twitter Google+ (Photo supplied/Berrien County Health Department) A pop up vaccination clinic is being planned for this weekend in several Indiana counties, including St. Joseph County, as part of the effort to fight COVID-19.The clinic is a combined effort of the Indiana State Department of Health and the Department of Homeland Security.It was initially planned for a different site but will take place at Ivy Tech’s campus near downtown South Bend on Saturday and Sunday. WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Pinterest Google+ Facebook By Tommie Lee – January 19, 2021 1 357 Previous articleIndiana observes its 9,000th COVID-19 fatalityNext articleNCAA announces details regarding March Madness games in Indiana Tommie Leelast_img read more

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