Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018

After a recent visit to a local Chapelhall bakery, one MSP reckons he knows the secret ingredient to the company’s success – its highly trained staff.

Conservative MSP Graham Simpson was impressed with the investment The Bakehouse is putting into its staff after visiting the bakery as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week. This year’s campaign theme for 2018 is ‘Apprenticeships are the Business’. A slogan that could have been invented specifically for the Bakehouse.

The MSP heard from Director Alastair Sherry how the company places real value in offering apprenticeships and SVQ qualification opportunities to staff of all ages. During a tour of the factory Mr Simpson also got to turn his hand to baking - under the watchful eye of staff who were happy to show the MSP the ropes.

Mr Simpson said “Scottish Apprenticeship Week is a great platform for showcasing all the benefits of this scheme, not only for the apprentices but the benefits it brings to companies that are investing in employee development. Having the chance to gain qualifications whilst receiving hands-on experience is a great way for the apprentices to learn their trade.

“All across Scotland companies large and small are investing in their staff with the help of Skills Development Scotland. The opportunitites cut right across the job sector including engineering, construction, financial and business services, health and social care, digital technology, tourism and food and drink. What they are doing at the Bakehouse is a perfect example of this in action. I heard from Alastair that the key component in the business is its staff.

“Alastair told me that almost all employees at the Bakehouse are undergoing a Modern Apprenticeship. With 40 workers, many who are local to the area, that is a fantastic statement from the company. Particularly when he explained that when he and his fellow Directors took over the business over a year ago, they had to start from the ground up to get the business back on an even keel with the workers buying into their vision for the company,

“I wasn’t the only one impressed with Alistair's vision. Supermarket giant Aldi is now a key customer, with the Bakehouse supplying them morning rolls and one of the Bakehouse's best sellers caramel yumyums, which I had the pleasure of tasting. It was delicious. The staff even encouraged me to have a go myself, they allowed me to make some of their morning rolls. It was a great experience, but I don’t think I’m ready for the Great British Bake-Off just yet.”