A competency-based apprenticeship is working well for both employer and mature-age employee at a Geelong bakery.
Single mother Simone Szabatura has had a “life-changing” experience through a training system with Melbourne’s Zen Artisan Bakery Café.
Simone came to Ian’s Zen Artisan Bakery café with an interrupted work history. She had enjoyed working at a Safeway bakery but left to raise her three children on a single mother’s pension.
Head baker Ian approached the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) about Simone’s situation and discovered that under competency-based completion Simone would have the flexibility to do an apprenticeship at the rate that suited her.
“I was committed to formalising her training if we could do it in a manner that suited her lifestyle and her family commitments. If that couldn’t happen then she’s not going to want to do it,” he said.
A training plan was developed by the training provider in consultation with the employer and the apprentice. In Simone’s case, Ian’s training provider, William Angliss, said it could send its trainers to the bakery so Simone could do her training at work.
Ian said he eventually came to the decision that each time he lost a younger apprentice he would replace them with a mature person.
“The passion, the commitment and the tangible benefits someone like Simone can bring to a business like this – it’s fantastic,” he said.