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Mature-age apprenticeships

Simone Szabatura holding a tray in the kitchen

Need dough? Knead dough!

Single-mum Simone Szabatura never dreamed she’d be an apprentice baker on the way to being fully qualified.

Simone had worked “years and years ago” at a Safeway bakery and she loved it, but left to raise her three children on a single-mother’s pension. When her youngest turned seven, Simone got a part-time job at Zen Artisan Bakery.

“I was working in the shop, but when I told Ian how I loved baking all those years ago, he put me in the bakery and the pastry chef there taught me everything I know.”

Zen’s owner, Ian Hobbs, encouraged her to do her apprenticeship.

“I said why not get some qualifications for what you can do? Then you’ve got something tangible as an asset for yourself,” Ian says.

Simone wasn’t sure. “At my age, I just thought it would be too hard.”

But Ian and Simone discovered she could do it at her own pace, get credit for what she already had learned on the job - and even do her training and homework at work.

Simone is loving it and Ian now relies on her training when they develop new products.

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

Click here to view the Baker occupation page

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Prepares and bakes bread loaves and rolls

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