TAFE Queensland Apprentice Baker Rises to the Top

TAFE Queensland Apprentice Baker Rises to the Top

Felicity Stone has won TAFE Queensland’s Bakery Apprentice of the Year Award for her outstanding efforts during her three-year apprenticeship with Coles Mt Pleasant in Mackay.

After returning from a holiday to Africa, the former scientist signed up to study the Certificate III in Bread Baking, and beat 10 other baking apprentices, all vying for the prestigious title.

“I’ve worked at Coles Mount Pleasant for the past three years, originally as a skilled baker before taking on the apprenticeship just over two years ago,” Felicity said.

“Now that I’m qualified, and things are returning to pre-COVID normality, I hope to travel the world to experience aspects of baking that other countries have to offer.”

To win the Apprentice Baker of the Year Award, students are assessed on their attitude, ability and the quality of their assessments and baked products. According to her teacher, Felicity displayed all of these qualities in spades.

“While she was enthusiastic and hard-working, it was her understanding of producing savoury bread, sweet yeast products, specialty-flour bread and basic artisan products that set her apart from our other outstanding students. On top of that, she has superior technical skills and a positive attitude that sets her apart,” said TAFE Queensland Bakery Teacher & Workplace Training Officer Richard Hibbert.

An example of her positive attitude was her commitment to learning her craft, which saw her fly from Mackay to attend intensive four-day baking workshops at TAFE Queensland’s South Bank campus.

Each day of her training blocks began at 4 a.m. and she gained practical experience in the state-of-the-art baking training facilities under the tutelage of world-class bakers who gave her the skills she needed to work in a commercial baking environment.

“Her attitude was obvious from the beginning, which reinforced our high opinion of her,” said Mr Hibbert.

“Her range of skills was impressive and was baked into every loaf she produced.”

During his visits to the bakery at Coles Mt Pleasant, Mr Hibbert saw first-hand how she was implementing her TAFE Queensland training into her role, and he wouldn’t be surprised if she could one day run a whole bakery production.

TAFE Queensland prides itself on its state-wide industry partnerships with independent bakers and major baking chains like Coles. These connections are vital in ensuring students achieve their career goals.

Partnerships like these offer students access to unique, work-integrated learning, which leads to successful job outcomes, something Felicity has already achieved working in the bakery.

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