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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In Short

first_img== Dust guidance ==The Federation of Bakers has produced a revised health and safety booklet – Guidance on Dust Control and Health Surveillance in Bakeries. It has been updated in conjunction with The Health and Safety Executive, the National Association of Master Bakers and the Scottish Association of Master Bakers. The booklet costs £10 plus VAT. A Breathe Easy DVD training package is available for £99 plus VAT. Call 020 7420 7190 for details.== Milk protein alert ==The Food Standards Agency issued an allergy alert after crumpets produced by British Bakeries were found to contain traces of milk protein (casein) that was not declared on the labels. Products with a code of X73 were affected including Asda standard and Smartprice, Sainsbury’s Basics, Morrisons and Mother’s Pride crumpets, which British Bakeries was forced to re-label, warning customers with milk allergies.== Sandwich show plan ==The Sandwich, Snack and Mobile Show is to be held from 20-21 May 2009, in Building 21 of Elsecar Heritage Centre, near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. There will be over 50 stands, including foodservice, hot savoury suppliers, sandwich fillings, pizzas, business insurance specialists, catering equipment and chilled drinks companies.== Franchise recognition ==Entries are now being invited for the Franchisor of the Year Awards, organised by the British Franchise Association (bfa). The event, sponsored by Express Newspapers and HSBC, will highlight the success stories in business, and focus on the strengths of franchising. Entries from bfa member franchisors will be taken until 16 March. For more information, go to [http://www.thebfa.org].last_img read more

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Edible nut pricing

first_imgAlmonds: July and August statistics are unlikely to show any sort of volume decline and September-November are the months when shipments are at their highest, so all roads currently point “north”.Walnuts: If California produces another big crop in October, then prices might remain stable. India reports only an average crop coming.Cashews: Over June and July, both the Vietnamese and Indian new crops were showing poor yield. Much of the buying for the remainder of 2009 is now done, and attention is focused on the prospect of the new crops in Brazil and East Africa.Pecans: Prospects for better supply from the US into 2010 remain and, weather permitting, we would hope to see prices ease as the New Year approaches.Pistachios: With no new crop available from the US this side of November, the stocks of remaining kernels and in-shell need to last another two to three months, so prices can only move up short-term.Brazil nuts: Despite the pound’s recovery, sterling prices have risen by 15% and look likely to slip over the “magic” £3,000pmt (for bulk) mark for wholes.Hazelnuts: Assuming the new crop is not short to meet demand, we could see some price weakening into the autumn.l Based on information provided by RM Curtis.last_img read more

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Check your waste line

first_imgIf you’ve used sales predictions and discounted food that’s nearing it’s sell-by date, but there’s still stacks of unsold sandwiches and cakes, then there’s only one thing for it: chuck it away.Most councils offer a paid-for commercial waste collection,while there are plenty of smaller disposal companies around, but food waste will generally end up in landfill and it’s not a cheap option. New rules mean it now costs businesses £48 for each tonne of waste sent to landfill, which will rise by another £8 each year until April 2013.In fact, Envirowise reckons the cost of producing waste can be between 4-10% of turnover for food and drink manufacturers, so maybe it’s time to think before you bin?Most big waste management companies will conduct a free waste audit for you, but an increasingly high-profile alternative to landfill is anaerobic digestion (AD). This provides a source of renewable energy, since food waste is broken down to produce bio-gas, which can be used to generate electricity and heat; 90% of the electricity generated from AD is exported to the national grid, with the rest used to power AD plants. You’re left with organic fertiliser, which can be spread on land where wheat and oilseed rape is grown. So your old loaves end up making new ones.Biogen Greenfinch takes waste from bakers, including Greggs, to one of its three plants and boasts that for every tonne of food waste sent to AD rather than landfill, 905kg of carbon emissions is saved. Simon Musther, head of commercial operations, says: “It’s cost-effective compared to other waste treatments and protects companies from the ongoing rise in landfill tax.”He believes AD will make even more financial sense as local authorities reduce their budgets and, at some point in the future, the government will legislate to ban organic waste going to landfill. “Companies need to look at alternatives now,” he says.Biogen Greenfinch provides bins, and can pick up from any sized retailer or manufacturer. It can separate packaging and can even cope with raw meat, which is currently banned in landfill.The British Retail Consortium reports that it works out cheaper to separate food waste and send it for anaerobic digestion than sending it to landfill, but a spokesman says: “You need access to one of these services and chances are that a smaller retailer will just put the stuff in a bin, as they won’t have the volume to make it feasible.”However, there are alternatives which can be better for the environment and good for your conscience too. The Fare Share charity collects ’fit-for-purpose’ food from shops and manufacturers and redistributes it to vulnerable groups, such as homeless people, the elderly and children. It covers 60 cities and London boroughs and is becoming more recognised, according to CEO Tony Lowe. It charges for pick-ups, but insists that this is cheaper than destroying food waste. Adds Lowe: “It’s likely that the food will be used in a baker’s local neighbourhood, while eating the food will have less carbon impact than destroying it.”It takes food within date and can make pick-ups every day. “We might take a couple of trays of loaves if it were geographically sustainable but will negotiate some bigger companies deliver to our depots.”Baynes Bakery in Fife has been working with the charity for two years, which bakery general manager George MacKay says began when they decided to reduce what went into landfill. “We give them rolls or tea bread we produce large quantities, so it’s impossible to get figures exactly right every day. It’s a good thing to do, rather than throw food in the bin.” Top tips for reducing bakery waste 1. Buy and use only what you need and plan your deliveries, so you always have just enough to meet customer demand.2. Store food and ingredients at the correct temperature to prolong their life.3. Rather than throw away imperfect baked goods, sell them at a discount or break them up to use for customer tastings.4. Reduce the cost of bakery products towards the end of the day.5. Can you reuse any leftovers? Off-cuts or stale bread as long as it is still edible can be crumbed and toasted as part of a topping. Or turn them into bread and butter pudding.6. If you have good-quality leftovers, particularly cakes or tarts, give them to a local charity or community group. 7. If you still have food waste, contact the local council to see if there is a local food waste collection scheme. Source: WasteWatchlast_img read more

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Cautious consumers prompt Finsbury’s cake sales slide

first_imgCelebration cakes sales continue to fall at Finsbury Food Group as consumers opt to trade down. Group revenue for the cake, bread and morning goods manufacturer has fallen by 4.1% to £168.3m for the financial year to 30 June 2010, after adjustments for the 53-week year.Sales in its cake division were down 9.7% compared with the previous year, due to consumers seeking better value products, and increasingly choosing products on promotion. Despite this trend, the firm announced its Thorntons branded cake sales were up 5.2% year-on-year, in its trading update, today.Its bread and free-from division saw more positive sales figures, with growth of 9.3%, which the firm put down to the combined success of the national roll-out of the Genius free-from fresh bread brand, and the previous year’s acquisition of Goswells speciality breads.“We have performed in line with management expectations and when we emerge from this recession we will be competitively stronger and better positioned for growth as consumers seek higher-quality products that taste great,” commented chief executive John Duffy.>>Finsbury sees decline in cakes as habits change>>Moonlight sonatalast_img read more

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Trade snapshot

first_imgBako Western held its annual trade show and hosted the Western Bakery Championships at its base in Cullompton Devon recently. Sixty-one suppliers exhibited on the day, while visitors and their families also enjoyed a hog roast, ice cream and face painting which was laid on for them. The event coincided with Bako Western’s 50th anniversary, with a free prize draw held 50 x £50 Bako Western credits were up for grabs, as well as gifts donated by suppliers.The bakery competitions, supported by bread improvers firm Gb Plange, featured 50 classes, with the newly honoured western region president and Bako Western sales manager Chris Wreford and National Association of Master Bakers president Clive Williams on hand to award the prizes. Winners included Williams of Wool, which took the West Country Specialities Championship title. St Austell-based Martins Bakery won the Open Bread Championship and Open Confectionery Championship, while Andrew Fudge of The Upper Crust Bakery, Taunton, took the top spot in the Best Loaf in Show class.last_img read more

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South Bend Schools to host in-person graduation ceremonies

first_img Twitter South Bend Schools have details their plan to allow 2020 seniors to get their diplomas in person. Check out the announcement post below for more information: Facebook Facebook South Bend Schools to host in-person graduation ceremonies Pinterest By Carl Stutsman – May 22, 2020 0 526 WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Google+ WhatsApp Google+ Previous articleBMV administrative penalty fees resume July 1Next articleCatholic Parish in Elkhart reports two priests test positive for COVID-19 Carl Stutsmanlast_img read more

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Elkhart man dies after leaving the road and crashing into a tree

first_img Google+ Facebook WhatsApp Facebook Elkhart man dies after leaving the road and crashing into a tree Google+ Twitter (“Ambulance” by Andrew Malone, CC BY 2.0) An Elkhart man was killed Friday morning after his SUV ran off the road and struck a tree. It happened on CR-3 about 2 miles north of the city limits, shortly after 6:30 a.m.Police say Jonathan Towne, 44, crossed the center line and left the road.He was not wearing a seat-belt according to officials and was pronounced dead at the scene.It’s not known why he crossed the center-line and left the road. By Tommie Lee – July 24, 2020 0 465 IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Twitter Previous articleThe Elkhart Education Foundation is seeking donations to help teachersNext articleV.P. Pence pushes for in classroom learning during Indiana visit Tommie Leelast_img read more

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Third mental exam ordered for man accused of killing his uncle

first_img (Photo supplied/Elkhart County Jail) A third mental exam has been ordered for an Elkhart man accused of killing his uncle.Charles Bussard, 30, is charged with murder in the 2015 disappearance and presumed killing of 45-year-old Byron Bussard, according to 95.3 MNC’s reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth.The Bristol man’s family reported him missing in February 2015, but no information on his fate was ever known until his nephew allegedly admitted to fatally shooting Byron shooting him and disposing of his body in a way that made it “unrecoverable”.The Elkhart Truth reports Bussard’s lawyer requested that he be given mental evaluations to determine whether he’s competent to stand trial. IndianaLocalNews Facebook Twitter Facebook Google+ Google+ WhatsApp Third mental exam ordered for man accused of killing his uncle Pinterest Previous articleI&M reminds public against posting signs on utility polesNext articleGood news on COVID-19 front in Elkhart County 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. By Jon Zimney – September 25, 2020 0 287 WhatsApp Twitter Pinterestlast_img read more

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News story: Carillion: Official Receiver’s update

first_img In total, to date 11,739 jobs (64% of the pre-liquidation workforce) have been saved and 2,340 (13%) jobs have been made redundant through the liquidation A further 1,121 employees have left the business during the liquidation through finding new work, retirement or for other reasons This information does not include jobs attached to contracts where an intention to purchase has been entered into but has not yet formally occurred Just under 3,000 employees are currently retained to enable Carillion to deliver the remaining services it is providing for public and private sector customers until decisions are taken to transfer or cease these contracts Further information about rights in redundancy is available on gov.uk A spokesperson for the Official Receiver said: To be notified of future updates from the Official Receiver please register to receive an email alert. We continue to discuss with potential purchases for Carillion’s remaining contracts, as well as remain committed to engaging with staff, elected employee representatives and unions as these arrangements are confirmed. Further information Secure on-going employment has been confirmed for a further 101 members of staff who are transferring to new suppliers, taking the total number of jobs saved to 11,739. Regrettably eight job losses are being announced and those leaving the business this week will be provided with every support to find new work by Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service.last_img read more

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