Fostering skills

first_imgMomentum is gathering around the National Skills Academy Training Centre for Bakery. Whether this ends up based at Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA), as mooted, or emerges as a handful of satellite colleges, scattered across a wider geographic reach, is still up for debate. Fosters Bakery, for one, would like to see a national skills centre set up in Barnsley. This is not surprising – Fosters is based in Barnsley.But the town, something of a hotbed of bakery action, makes a good case for being involved in the national set-up. Bakers large and small in Yorkshire and Humber are particularly clustered around Barnsley. The map opposite, from a study undertaken by regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, shows that Barnsley has some 6,000 bakers working across the town.Given that Barnsley College is undertaking a £60 million rebuild, including a bakery, what better place to locate the National Skills Academy than there, asks, Michael W Taylor, operations director of Fosters Bakery. And a renewed emphasis on skills training has paid off for this baker over the last four years.== Career pathway ==”During my time at Fosters Bakery we have developed new initiatives to address education and skills issues. The principle behind these initiatives was to create a career pathway for all our employees, through lifting the skills level of each individual to enhance our reputation and that of our customers,” says Taylor, who was appointed operations director in October 2004.His brief was to develop a stronger culture of investment in people. Examples include two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with Sheffield Hallam University (Human Resources and IT); NVQ Levels 1 and 2 training, which is linked to pay and reward; and provision of opportunities to bring ex-offenders back into the workplace. In recognition that many local people do not choose to work in the bakery sector, it sought new labour sources from Eastern Europe and put in place English language training (ESOL) for them.However, this is a short-term solution to the local labour shortage and the links with educational establishments should help address this issue in the longer term, says Taylor. This is where the national skills centre comes in.”The overall aim is for Fosters to stand out as an excellent and leading-edge employer in the industry,” he says. This will enable us to attract a far higher quality of recruit. An integral part of delivering this vision is to develop a skilled, committed and adaptable workforce that is able to contribute to a changing work and business environment. The initiatives implemented so far have helped contribute to this.”== local participation ==Furthermore, participation in the local community through school visits and work experience programmes has been a success. Fosters won the Barnsley Chamber’s 2006 business award for its commitment to education, through activities that have a positive impact on business, education and young people.And Taylor adds that links with Lindholme prison and Moorland Open prison in Doncaster have provided the company with some excellent trained bakers. Lindholme has an on-site bakery where prisoners can work while completing baking qualifications.”We have employed 10 members of staff from the prison in total, all of which have achieved either NVQ Level 2 or 3 in bakery. Their expertise is valuable to the company and they have been paid in accordance with our grading structure, which is linked to the attainment of NVQs. Their expertise is shared with fellow colleagues and they have provided inspiration to others to progress to this level,” he says. In addition, one employee on a six-week placement through the ’Entry to Employment’ scheme has proved himself very capable, despite having no bakery experience. “When his placement is finished, we will be offering him full-time employment,” says Taylor.Better skill levels among employees has paid off, with a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of making bread, he adds. “As staff are trained in bakery processes, they understand the science and technology behind the work they are undertaking. This has ensured they can identify potential problems and raise them, before it becomes a major issue. This has eliminated errors, which in turn has reduced waste.” n—-=== Need to know: ===There’s a shortage of food scientists and technologistsThe UK food and drink manufacturing sector employs some 9,000 food scientists and technologists. Currently one in four of these jobs is vacant.This role is vital to coming up with new products, developing processes that can save costs and increase productivity, without which new manufacturing machinery cannot be developed or commissioned.Yet as we are aware from our daily newspapers, students are no longer interested in sciences; graduates prefer business degrees and those who do opt for science are not attracted by our market sector.So what is being done about this? As part of the Sector Skills Agreement (see last week’s BB), Improve, the Skills Sector Council for bakery, has consulted with higher education funding bodies in England and Wales to access funding to develop a conversion course.The work is very much in its infancy but is aimed at delivering food scientists from within the workplace or from returnees to work. In order for this project to be a success, Improve says it requires expertise from employers and training providers to design, build and deliver the course content, so that food scientists can be grown for the sector.A number of other food sectors have shown great interest in this area, says Improve, and are working with universities to provide bursaries for students studying food science. This, and other activity, has seen a 4% increase in the number of students studying food science over the last two years.last_img read more

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Echo Lake Swim set for Aug. 15

first_imgMOUNT DESERT — The 21st annual Bill Reeve Echo Lake Swim will take place on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Camp Beech Cliff.The Echo Lake Swim includes competitive swims of 500 yards and 1.5 miles. Last year’s competitors ranged in age from 6 to 80.Entry fees are $20 for those 18 and under and $30 for adults. A family registration costs $60 for two adults and any number of kids.Registration includes awards and a barbeque for all participants as well as a T-shirt for the first 75 swimmers registered.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textRegistration the day of the event will begin at 8:30 a.m. The 500-yard swim starts at 10 a.m., and the 1.5-mile swim begins at 10:30 a.m.Registration is available online at defymca.orgThose interested in volunteering in the rescue kayaks and canoes should email Matt Montgomery at [email protected]last_img read more

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‘I’m only 17 – no need to rush my career’ – Conor Gough

first_img9 Dec 2019 ‘I’m only 17 – no need to rush my career’ – Conor Gough Tags: England Boys’ Squad, English Men’s Amateur Championship, Walker Cup Conor Gough has confirmed he wants one more crack at the Walker Cup in 2021 before he even considers trading the amateur ranks for a professional career.The 17-year-old English Men’s Amateur champion has the golfing world at his feet after a year in which he started to realise his outstanding potential as one of England’s, and indeed Europe’s, top talents.Already hailed as one to watch after winning the British Boys’ Championship and McGregor Trophy in 2018, Gough’s stunning victory at Hankley Common in August confirmed his status as one of the rising stars of world amateur golf.That win earned him a slot in the GB&I Walker Cup side which lost to a strong USA team at Royal Liverpool in September.Gough will finish 2019 ranked as Europe’s top male amateur.He is currently rated number three in the world.Yet Gough is remaining grounded and for now puttting all thoughts of a pro career to one side to simply ENJOY his game and focus on schoolwork at St Joseph’s College in Berkshire.Gough will also enjoy hanging out with his mates, spending time with his girlfriend and playing county football.For Gough, the correct balance in life will improve his golf in the long run and it’s hard to argue with such a mature approach from a laid-back young man with wisdom beyond his years.After attending a session with the England boys’ squad at Woodhall Spa, Gough said: “I am 100% sure that I won’t be turning pro before the Walker Cup in 2021 no matter what my results are like next year.“I want to do as much as I can as an amateur. There’s no rush to turn pro. I’m only 17.“I will just keep on playing golf.“No-one will change my mind on what I want to do. No-one can tell me differently.“Right now I don’t need to think about anything other than getting up in the morning to go to school, practice after school and then playing in my competitions.“It doesn’t need to be complicated.“I have to keep it simple and keep on winning.“At the end of the day it’s a game to be enjoyed. I’m only 17 and there’s no point stressing. I just go out and play.“I know for a fact that all golfers miss out on things because they have to be dedicated. But if I have a week between competitions during the season I don’t play.“I just go out and see my mates, see my girlfriend and just make sure I don’t miss out on a social life.“I want golf to be my career, but there are other things in life to consider.“I’d love it to be my job and I do work hard at it. But if you focus everything on golf it will have a negative impact.“It messes up the balance which everyone needs. I definitely play other sports to take my mind off it – you have to.”Gough could have joined fellow 17-year-old Ben Schmidt in the England men’s squad for 2020, but will stay with the boys’ set up to allow him to split time between his ‘A’ levels and golf.For the youngster from Stoke Park, this is a wholly sensible option.“Ben has got a lot more freedom with his education. I’m doing ‘A’ levels for the next two years,” added Gough who is studying sociology, sports science and business.“You have to get through them – if golf doesn’t work out I have to have a Plan B.”When chatting to Gough, there is no hint that he is one of the most talked-about amateur golfers in the world.He’s as chilled as they come with a positive attitude, a polite manner and a keen focus on what he needs to do to make the most of his ability.Take his week at this year’s English Men’s Amateur as a case study.Gough knew he needed a big week to boost his Walker Cup credentials. He fine-tuned his game, sharpened his mind and delivered when it mattered most.“I was very focused on what I had to do that week,” he said.“I feel like every time I have to do something big, I focus in a different way.“I was playing very, very well and had one outcome in my mind. That was to win and that’s what I achieved.“I didn’t put myself under pressure, but I knew I could win.“I don’t think there was anyone there that week who could have beaten me the way I was playing.”Gough is currently plotting his schedule for 2020 and working on his game with England Golf coaches such as Rob Watts and Mike Kanski.He may have ended the year flying high in the rankings, but he takes these things with a pinch of salt.“It’s definitely a very nice feeling to see my name at the top of the European rankings,” said Gough.“Last time I looked I was also world number three.“But I don’t think of myself as the third best in world. I just go out to win.“When I go to a big competition there’s a genuine feeling that most people in the field can win, but it does give me an extra boost to know that I’m rated highly.“I’m in the middle of planning for 2020 now and looking at the different goals I want to achieve.“Everything is geared towards that 2021 Walker Cup.”Photograph credit: Leaderboardlast_img read more

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