Posted on November 02, 2018
The bakers of the future were celebrated at a ceremony to mark their graduation from the Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking at The School of Artisan Food.
Among those graduating from the six-month diploma which is designed to equip students with both the practical and business skills needed to launch a stellar career in artisan baking was the School’s first ever refugee student.
Ghidey Berhane came to the UK via ‘family reunion’ from her home country of Eritrea and faced several issues following the death of husband shortly after she arrived. With the support of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, Ghidey was able to take up a fully funded place on the diploma.
The School’s founder Alison Swan Parente said: “We are delighted to see Ghidey successfully graduate and hope this will stand her in good stead for the future. As a charitable trust, we look forward to working in partnership with the refugee forum to provide access to more refugees looking to retrain or learn new skills that will enable them to find meaningful employment in the UK.”
The refugee bursary was awarded by The Whitaker Charitable Trust and Janey Whitaker, who attended the graduation, said: “I’m so pleased that our charity was able to support Ghidey and it is lovely to see her graduate with her brother and friend to cheer her on.”
Another student with an extra reason to celebrate was Cameron Whyte after he was surprised to be presented with a £2,000 prize for the best artisan food business plan. The prize was awarded by Neil Curtis on behalf of The Barbara Curtis Trust, the fund set up by the Lincoln based family baking company, who also provide a bursary place each year.
Neil said: “This is a great day, and I am looking forward to continuing to support the School and the students in the future.”
The School’s Head of Baking Wayne Caddy was also delighted to be made a Fellow in recognition of his services to the school and his commitment to sharing his knowledge of artisan baking skills.
Ian Waterland, a guest tutor at The School and a former diploma graduate himself spoke at the ceremony which took place in the beautiful Titchfield Library in Welbeck Abbey.
Ian said: “The diploma is great because it gives you the scientific underpinning theory of baking, combined with lots of hands-on practice. You need both to bake good bread. By adding the business side, it covers all bases.”
Julie Byrne, managing director of The School, said: “Graduation is the best day in the School calendar, seeing our students at the start of their amazing baking journey is such a privilege. It also gives me the opportunity to publicly thank my fantastic team for their hard work and commitment to the success of the students.”
Chris Young, Real Bread Campaign coordinator & Fellow of the School of Artisan Food, said: “The length of the list of Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking graduates who have gone on to open their own, fantastic baking businesses, or slot right into the teams at others, speaks for itself. It really is one of the key crucibles for the rise of Real Bread, not to mention cakes and patisserie.”
The Advanced Diploma in Artisan Baking is accredited by FDQ and equivalent to Foundation Degree Level. The full-time, intensive six month course boasts unrivalled tuition from industry's most recognised producers and experts and is designed by expert artisan bakers to inspire a new generation of food producers, each equipped with the essential baking skills and the business knowledge to launch a successful artisan bakery, work in the baking industry or manage a bakery enterprise.
Open Days run regularly to give a first-hand experience what it's like to be a student at The School. Next dates include 23 November, 10 December, 26 January, 23 February and 22 March, with students able to start the six-month course in either April or Oct 2019.
For more information and to book a place on an open day, visit https://www.schoolofartisanfood.org/page/open-days.