News

News

March 16th, 2012

New opportunities ahead for bakers

Baking is set to enter into a new era with the introduction of a Level 5 New Zealand Certificate in Baking and a Diploma in Baking later this year. The new qualifications will be the first of this level in New Zealand, and aim to meet the needs of industry and the growing demand for more highly skilled bakers. The pathway was developed following the Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) – a process conducted by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) in response to concerns about the quality and relevance of qualifications. Thorough input was sought from industry, industry associations, polytechnics and training providers to make sure these parties were the driving force behind the review. This way, the resulting programme can cater to the specific requirements of industry and become a recognised and respected achievement. Currently New Zealand’s baking qualifications only reach Level 4 – but with the new additions it is hoped baking will expand into a career pathway where trainees can continue to progress and hone their skills. And for those who are already well experienced and knowledgeable in the trade, a process to recognise current competency can establish if a baker is ready to enter into the Level 5 Certificate, or the Diploma. Moves are also being made to have the Level 2 New Zealand Certificate in Food and Related Products implemented into Academies and the Gateway programme – an initiative run in secondary schools to transition students from school to workplace learning. This would see students equipped with the appropriate pre-trade entry level skills needed for a successful baking career pathway as soon as they leave school – a benefit to both the learner and industry. So far, the first draft of the proposed structure has been approved by NZQA, and is now in the second stage of consultation to tweak any remaining issues. It is hoped the new baking pathway will be ready to stir up the scene in the third quarter of this year – providing excitement for those who have forged a career in baking, and for those who are just starting out. Competenz, along with other key industry stakeholders involved in this process, will keep the baking industry informed at critical stages of these developments.