Apprenticeship helps Rebekah turn baking hobby into full-time job
“If you are passionate about something, there is nothing in the world that can break that drive to succeed,” says Rebekah Chatfield, a talented young baker at Brød (The Danish Bakery Ltd) in Cardiff.
Rebekah, 24, form Abertillery, turned her passion for home baking into a full-time job when she decided to change her career direction after graduating in marine biology.
She was taken on by Brød founder Betina Skovbro as an apprentice baker and has flourished in the role. Located in Wyndham Crescent, Pontcanna, the bakery and coffee shop make freshly baked artisan Danish breads, pastries and cakes.
Rebekah completed the Proficiency in Baking Industry Skills Apprenticeship, delivered by learning provider Cambrian Training, last year and is now considering progressing to a Higher Apprenticeship in Food Manufacturing Excellence.
Now her learning journey as a baker has been recognised, as she has been shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year Award at next month’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.
Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport, on October 24.
The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.
Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
During her apprenticeship, Rebekah spent work placements at two bakeries in Copenhagen and visited an industrial baker in Germany as well as Brød’s flour supplier to expand her knowledge and skills.
Her thirst to be the best baker she can has seen her enter UK and global bread baking competitions. She also helped one of Brød’s apprentices to develop a curry sourdough, which won the innovation award in Britain’s Best Loaf competition.
Thanks to the experience gained on her apprenticeship, she has introduced a set production schedule to improve workflow, is developing new recipes and products, reducing food waste and mentoring the company’s apprentices.
“I had never previously considered an apprenticeship, but when studying for a vocational qualification, there is nothing better for gaining experience whilst also learning the necessary skills,” said Rebekah.
Betina described Rebekah as a “model apprentice” and “great ambassador” for the company: “It was the easiest decision of all to offer her a permanent position on completion of her training,” she added.
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated Rebekah and all the other shortlisted finalists.
“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.
“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”