A talented group of newly-qualified apprentices at a bakery have been hailed as stars of the future by the UK’s top trainer.
According to Yvonne Evans, who was crowned Assessor of the Year by the Times Educational Supplement, the seven apprentices at the Village Bakery were “truly exceptional”.
As a reward, they were each presented by managing director Robin Jones with a solid gold and silver pin in the shape of a sheaf of corn, specially made by the luxury jewellers Boodles.
The Village Bakery is already looking to recruit a new batch of apprentices to follow in their footsteps with a baker’s dozen of 13 vacancies up for grabs.
Like their predecessors, the new apprentices will be trained at the family firm’s state-of-the art Baking Academy and Innovation Centre on Wrexham Industrial Estate.
The company has a track record of growing its own and most of its bakery managers and supervisors have come through the ranks.
A case in point is Bilel Mejeri, 28, who had no experience of a working in a bakery before getting a job there.
Armed with his new qualification, the father-of-two has now been appointed a shift manager.
Tom Bartley, 25, had various jobs in factories and doing groundwork before joining the Village Bakery.
He said: “The apprenticeship was brilliant and I am delighted to have achieved my qualification.”
Yvonne Evans, the lead assessor for food manufacturing at Coleg Cambria, said: “I have been working with the newly-qualified apprentices for 12 months and I call them the A Team.
“They’ve put a 100 per cent into the qualification and gained a Level 3 in baking industry skills.
“They are the cream of the crop. They’re dedicated and they’re a really big asset to the business.”
The presentation ceremony was a proud moment for Brett Rogers as manager of new product development at the Village Bakery.
He said: “As a company we need to invest in the future and bring the skills through into the workforce.
“It’s important that we can rely on the guys to know how to make the products properly and that they understand the recipes and the function of the ingredients.
“I’m fully confident the newly qualified apprentices are going to help build the future of the Village Bakery and bring us on to that next level.”