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Source: NorthTec

NorthTec is offering a new qualification in baking, to help fill a national skills shortage.

Keen bakers can now turn their passion into a career, and get qualified with the New Zealand Certificate in Baking (Generalist), which gets under way in March 2021.

This Level 4 programme teaches students how to bake in a commercial kitchen, and covers speciality doughs, breads, pastry, desserts, cakes and biscuits.

In addition, students will learn about bakery science and all the relevant food hygiene and health and safety requirements for the industry.

Tutor, Tracey Telfer, said: “Baking is on New Zealand’s skills shortage list – so with bakers in hot demand, now is a great time to train. Northland has many restaurants, cafés, bakeries and supermarkets, so there are lots of job opportunities in this field.”

She said recent stakeholder feedback showed that many hospitality businesses in Northland struggled to find trained bakers, and were forced to buy in products instead of being able to make them on the premises, which they would rather do.

She added: “This is an intermediate level programme so graduates will be ready to go into work as commercial bakers, and potentially run their own business, like an artisan bakery.”

The programme lasts for one academic year and learners will study in NorthTec’s professional kitchens at the Raumanga campus. It consists of two days per week in the kitchen, with a half day in the classroom learning bakery theory, and additional self-directed study.

Tracey Telfer is a trained pastry chef who has also run her own café in Whangārei. She  has been a tutor at North Tec for the past nine years and has baked and decorated cakes, both for work and pleasure, for the last 25 years.