Baker’s apprentice rises to the occasion

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Growing and sustaining a successful business can often depend on getting the right people to do the job at the right time.

Many businesses deal with issues such as; high staff turnover, a lack of time to support and train new employees, an older workforce and a need to plan for the future, and financial constraints to advertise for new recruits.

Companies facing these challenges can access a wide range of support from Business Gateway and from local authorities across the country, who can help with arranging quality short term work placements through to the creation of full time jobs, including Modern Apprenticeships.

Employers can receive a locally delivered package of support that is tailored to suit their needs. Advisors provide one-to-one support with step-by-step help and advice on how to apply for relevant funding as well as assistance in finding the right recruit, making the process simple and as quick as possible.

The support on offer from Business Gateway and Falkirk Council has enabled artisan baker Eddie Marshall to take on a young local apprentice, Stephanie Dick.

Eddie set up Marshall Family Bakers in 2012 and his shop in Falkirk town centre became an instant success. Although his wife helped during the holidays, the popularity of the bakery made it clear that Eddie would need to recruit to manage his growing custom. External training provider, Vision, was able to identify a number of its trainees that met his needs and Stephanie Dick fitted the bill.

After the 18-year-old successfully completed her initial work experience, Eddie was able to access additional help from Falkirk Council to cover Stephanie’s training and a 50% financial contribution towards her wages for a year. When this period ended, Stephanie stayed on to become Marshall Family Bakers’ first full-time employee.

Eddie said: “My experience in this sector started through a Youth Training Scheme so I know what it’s like for young people to come into the trade, which is one reason why I want to help and support Stephanie during her training as much as I can. Stephanie fitted the business perfectly and we’re now looking to bring her into other parts of the bakery so she can follow her interest in cake making and decorating. I’m committed to help drive her ambitions and would like to ensure she keeps learning and developing on the job.

“The support I’ve received from Business Gateway and Falkirk Council has been a massive help. It has allowed me to continue to grow the bakery and train Stephanie at the same time.”

As part of her apprenticeship Stephanie trained in a Modern Apprentice SVQ Level 2 Food Manufacture Craft Bakery Skills, through the national training association, Scottish Bakers.

As well as adding a new member of staff to Marshalls, Eddie has also secured deals to supply many local businesses, including the Falkirk Wheel, and recently won a national baking award.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer of Business Gateway National Unit added: “We work very closely with all the local authorities in Scotland and we highlight and signpost our clients to the additional support and relevant help on offer from their local council.

There is a wealth of business support out there and it is important that the councils, Business Gateway and other locally and nationally focused support organisations work in partnership to ensure new start and growth businesses across the country receive an integrated package of support that will help them develop in the future.

Visit the Employability in Scotland website to find out what employment support and advice is available in your local area.

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