We believe it is very important not only to share our skills and know-how with our commercial partners – bakers’ shops, supermarkets and the food businesses to whom we supply ingredients, but also to help communities in the countries where we operate. Being a reliable local partner is part of our international business philosophy which we demonstrate by opening bakery schools across the globe.
Supermarkets, bakeries and cake shops, as well as hotels and cruise ships across the globe are incrementally increasing demand for high quality breads, patisserie and chocolates, but many of them suffer from a significant shortage of skilled labor.
Determined to teach young people the skills needed to work in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, Puratos has invested in bakery schools around the world, starting with its first school in India, expanding into Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Romania, and the Philippines. The courses have been designed to take students beyond basic education and to give them the practical training needed to make a decent living.
Outside of the classroom, the program also includes periods of paid internship in various companies to gain valuable industry experience and apply the skill learned in the classroom. We also commit to aid in employing students who graduate from the schools or place them with one of our partners.
The program continues to expand with our latest school opening in the United States, just around the corner from our Puratos US headquarters, partnering with Pennsauken High School in Pennsauken NJ.
We are thrilled and honored to be partnering with Pennsauken High School to open the seventh Bakery School worldwide, the first in the United States, and the first ever Bakery School of its kind. The program, in partnership with Pennsauken High School in South Jersey, will introduce students to baking in hopes of creating careers in the industry.
“We can make a real difference to the lives of young people and make an important contribution to our industry by establishing a Bakery School in Pennsauken, NJ, — the area in which our US headquarters is located — and one of the most economically challenged boroughs in the State of New Jersey and country,” said Andy Brimacombe, president of Puratos USA. “We have the skill and the will to create a life-changing social contribution right here on our doorstep by providing a launchpad to a career path in the bakery industry for people who may otherwise not have the opportunity.”
Led by the Puratos Bakery School Foundation, the initiative began with the dual observation of an important community of underprivileged youngsters with little to no professional education, and the fact that the Bakery, Patisserie, and Chocolate sector is growing and lacks well trained and qualified labor.
The US Bakery School is a 4-year program which will offer flexible career pathways for students. Graduates will be equipped with the skills necessary for immediate employment in the bakery industry; or they can also choose to pursue further education and training. The program is the newest addition to Pennsauken High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, a workforce readiness initiative that includes a culinary arts program.
Students will learn the fundamentals of baking, including pastry and chocolate-making, with a focus on practical and artisan skills and the bakery school is welcoming it’s first class of students in September of 2022.