Baking heats up at NorthTec

8 December 2021

Baking heats up at NorthTec

NorthTec’s inaugural class of baking students are finishing their course and heading into the workforce.

The New Zealand Certificate in Baking (Generalist) was launched this year in response to a shortage of trained staff with specialist baking skills. Students spend two days a week in NorthTec’s professional kitchens getting hands-on experience and producing a variety of baked goods, including delicious artisan breads, gateaux and pastries.

The Level 4 programme gives learners the skills to start working in a café, restaurant or bakery. Throughout the year the class has held Bake Shops on campus, selling their work to students and staff. They celebrated the end of the course with a special pop-up Bake Shop based in a container on the Raumanga campus.

Tutor, Tracy Telfer, said: “Students can spend two full days in the kitchens getting experience while still leaving time for work. It’s a full-time course with another half day theory at NorthTec and then time for self-directed learning in the student’s own time.”

She added: “There’s a shortage of bakers in New Zealand. It’s on the skills shortage list and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Businesses are crying out for qualified New Zealand bakers. With this programme we are working towards filling those gaps.”

Despite recent Covid lockdowns, many cafés and restaurants are looking for qualified bakers who can hit the ground running and start producing tasty treats for pick up, delivery or in-house eating where restrictions allow.

The course finishes in December but many of the students are already looking for work and landing jobs. Student Sophie Hookins has recently started her new job as an assistant chef at the Jane Mander Retirement Village.
Tracy Telfer said that after the first successful year of the programme, NorthTec is now enrolling for 2022. She said: “You don’t need experience to apply – a passion for baking and a desire to learn is the most important thing. I love teaching students new techniques and seeing their growth over the year.”

She said that everything is provided for students, from baking ingredients through to uniforms and knife kits, so they can focus on learning and gaining the skills required for the workplace.

For more information visit, or call 0800 162 100.

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