By Ross YatesShare post:
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British Bakels product technician
Starting at the University as a 16-year-old Level 2 Bakery student, Ross dreamed of going onto a degree and forging a career in new product development.
And that’s exactly what he has done – graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Bakery and Patisserie Technology and now working as a product assessment technician for British Bakels, a global leader in bread, rolls, morning goods, cake and sponge ingredients and other baking solutions for retail and foodservice.
He is currently working on a project with doughnuts as part of the company's research into fat, salt and sugar content of bakery items ahead of new advertising legislation coming into force in 2022.
He is also looking at vegan product development, calling on knowledge he gained during his degree research project on plant-based versus traditional sponge cakes. Ross is literally living the dream, but, growing up, it was not something he ever thought would happen.
“If you had told me I would be where I am now, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said. “I love what I do and am so glad I made the move up to uni.”
Ross, who did a degree placement at Dawn Foods, was able to move up to university thanks to support from the University’s Academic Skills Centre (ASC), a service that helps students master their academic English and maths skills.
Ross had achieved a grade D in his English Language GCSE, but felt he needed a grade C if he was going to take on the more advanced elements of his subject at degree level. After attending sessions with an academic support worker, he achieved his goal.
As a person with autism that struggled with traditional schooling, this was, in his words, "amazing".
“They prepared me for the paper, helping me use language better to put together my summaries on the two pieces of text,” said Ross, who also got invaluable support from the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) from Student Finance during his studies.
“When I heard I had passed, I was so happy. My degree was mainly theory and quite challenging, so having English Language was really useful.
“Going onto degree level was the chance for me to develop my research and academic skills and use specialist testing equipment you don’t have at college level and that mirrors what I use in the lab today.
"I am now looking forward to the future and the rest of my career in the bakery industry."