Baking industry finding ways to attract young people to industry

Bakers Assoc of Australia Showcase Day (Demo)

Engaging future employees starts before they apply for a job, and thanks to the Baking Association of Australia (BAA), our Year 11 Food & Hospitality students had a taste of what it’s like working within this industry at a recent Showcase Day.

St Patrick’s Technical College was privileged to be selected as one of two schools to hold this unique event with the aim of providing students with insight into the industry and to bring awareness of the abundance of apprenticeship opportunities currently available.

One of the key elements to educating potential new students on industry career potential is the opportunity for them to put their learning into practice and that’s exactly what our students experienced with professionals at the top of their game.

Conor McNaught, 2017 Baking Apprentice of the Year in the prestigious LA Judge Award and one of BAA’s Queensland mentors, impressed students and staff with his industry knowledge and passion for the industry. While experiencing expert instruction and learning new technical skills, students participated in hands-on learning to create some mouth-watering pastries.

To sweeten things up, Amy Sajinovic, Head Chocolatier at the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, showcased her impeccable talents by demonstrating the fine art of chocolate making and the science behind the art. Amy tantalised the tastebuds of our students who couldn’t wait to try their hand at the craft and the just delights.

With a passion for innovation and creativity, the Melbournian was hand-picked by the Barossa company this year to head their team and has been instrumental in the use of state-of-the-art specialist machinery not seen anywhere else in the Australia. This area of the industry sweetened the interests of our students who look forward to visiting Amy at her workplace to learn so much more.

Baker Bear’s Bakery was instrumental in the day by providing students with an understanding of how to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the baking industry. Baker Aidan Cox taught students the basic techniques in dough making and theory and a tactile experience of cutting, weighing and making a three-strand plait.

And to top it off, the art of cupcake decorating was instructed by Hannah McDonald, 2018 Champion Young Baker at the Australian Bake Skills Championships. Learning the fine techniques in handling, Hannah made it look so easy piping and decorating these delights in which our students did a fine job not only creating but devouring.

Australia’s Baking industry is looking at different ways to recruit new students and future talent to address the current skill shortage in the industry. The showcase itself provided our students with food for thought and has posed the industry as a viable career option and a pathway into management, food science or artisan-style baking.