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Investing in an apprentice

Investing in an apprentice

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Zen Artisan Bakery staff in the kitchen

Zen and the art of apprenticeship maintenance

Geelong baker, Ian Hobbs, says his apprentice baker, Simone Szabatura, is an asset to the business.

“The passion, the commitment and the tangible benefits someone like Simone can bring to a business like this – it’s fantastic.”

Ian first hired Simone, a single mother of three teenagers, to work in his bakery café, but when she told him she had worked in a Safeway bakery many years ago and loved it, he put her into his bakery.

She thrived and he encouraged her to take on an apprenticeship soon after, so she could bring further technical know-how into the business and also get formal recognition of her skills.

Ian says he values her opinion as much as her work-ethic.

“Simone’s also the market I sell to, so she’s my sounding board. She has been driving a push into producing more wholegrain product and now I can rely on her for the technical answers when we want to create new products.”

Apprenticeships are now more flexible: Ian’s training provider, William Angliss, even send their trainers to the bakery, so Simone can do her training at work and at a pace that suits her family commitments.

“We have a great relationship with William Angliss,” says Ian; “their professionalism is top of the tree.”

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