Bakery student calls for companies to whip up opportunities

June 2017

A Bakery and Patisserie Technology undergraduate at UCB has called for companies to whip up more opportunities for young bakers to help them kick-start their careers.

Laura Gibbons discussed the challenges students face in such a competitive market in this month’s issue of British Baker magazine, a leading publication for the sector.

The final year student said experience was vital for getting your foot in the door.

“At present, the bakery industry is changing for younger generations and there are many people my age and in their early twenties moving into it,” said Laura.

“A lot of employers want a lot of experience for roles, and if you are coming into a graduate job, it can be difficult without it, so it would be great to see companies offering more experience for young bakers.”

Laura has been fortunate enough to be offered such an opportunity by Dawn Foods, which supplies mixes, bases, icings, glazes, fillings, frozen dough, and fully-baked products to the food industry worldwide. 

As the company’s first student ambassador, Laura was recently visited at UCB by Dawn Foods’ head application chef, Robin Loud, where the pair reinvented three, classic recipes together as part of the supplier’s Creating New Traditions campaign.

As part of the campaign, the contemporary new takes on traditional sweet products will be launched as bakery recipes later this year.

“Working with Robin was an amazing experience and I’ve had the chance to experiment with a vast range of bakery products, while revitalising traditional classics,” said Laura.

“I find the development side of things very interesting, as new product development is really moving forward, especially with demand for free-from ranges such as gluten-free and dairy-free being at an all-time high.

“Looking to the future, I think we will see growth in vegan and free-from substitutes, as an increasingly popular trend, with so many items already on offer that cater for special dietary requirements. Provenance is also a big trend and local ingredients are a popular feature of many recipes, for example, Cotswold Lavender.

“I’m glad I followed my Dad’s advice to do something that I love as it spurred me on to choose my degree with UCB. It has been an incredibly interesting and varied course, which has broadened my knowledge and given me a vast insight into the industry as a whole - learning about functionality, sustainability, product development and business.

“Also, our year group is the first to finish the entire degree, which is a great sign for the future of bakery.”

Read Laura’s opinion piece in British Baker magazine.

Find out more about Laura’s role at Dawn Foods

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