Bakers Buck Job Gloom with Aggressive Apprenticeship Drive

With employment figures released today showing the job market is continuing to remain uncertain, Bakers Delight, Australia’s most successful bakery franchise, is standing in stark contrast to the majority of the shaky retail sector by today announcing its plans to offer 1,000 new apprenticeship opportunities in 2013.

Employment rate figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed unemployment increased to 5.4 per cent in December up from 5.3 per cent in November, while ANZ Banking Group’s job advertisements survey released this week showed job ads hit a three-year low in December, dropping for the tenth month in a row.

Statistics are on par with wider economic sentiment that weaker employment outcomes are expected over coming months. This “job gloom” is being compounded by the wake of mass redundancies across many industries, which poses a massive challenge for those Australians uncertain about their next step.

While many organisations and retailers are cutting jobs, Bakers Delight is continuing with its aggressive recruitment expectations in 2013, which is core to the business’ long-term growth strategy across its 700+ stores in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Roger Gillespie, co-founder and CEO of Bakers Delight said: “There is no question the job market is tough. As someone with many years in the baking industry and a fourth-generation baker, I speak from experience when I say that for young Australians a baking apprenticeship represents a solid career opportunity.

“We’re keen to offer that opportunity to 1,000 new apprentices in 2013, bucking the trend of the broader job market,” said Gillespie.

“Completing an apprenticeship with Bakers Delight involves more than just going to school or training, it’s a hands-on, nationally recognised qualification where recruits channel their passion into the art and science of baking.

“It’s a qualification that can offer a career platform, direction and lifestyle flexibility, to a recruit that may be uncertain of their career prospects.

“Many of our qualified apprentices also have aspirations to become a manager or a franchisee, in fact 30 per cent of our franchisees began their career as an apprentice baker.”

Baking is currently listed on the Federal Government’s National Skills Needs List. Bakers Delight has a 13.3 per cent share (Roy Morgan single source data September 2012) of the Australian bread market.