Young Cornish baker becomes first in the UK to obtain new craft bakery qualification

Congratulations to Jason Bennellick, the first student across the whole of the UK to complete the new craft bakery qualification with flying colours

Cornwall, already an epicentre for the UK’s artisan food and drink industry, has another rising bakery star thanks to Prima Bakeries in Scorrier, Truro & Penwith College and Jason, a young, keen apprentice. 

Jason, who joined Prima Bakeries as a general production assistant two years ago, now has an opportunity to join the illustrious list of craft bakers in the county having passed a level 2 apprenticeship in bakery. This new apprenticeship, devised by FDQ to updated, higher standards, incorporates a diploma in craft baking covering bread, cake and pastry production.

“When Jason first joined us, it quickly became apparent that he was a keen and capable young man with a strong desire to learn a proper trade and he expressed interest in becoming a trainee baker,” said Mark Norton, managing director of Prima Bakeries.

“He has received exceptional training on the job under the auspices of Prima’s general bakery manager, Ross Buist, and has been superbly supported by Truro and Penwith College where the course was delivered by David Williams, bakery lecturer and ESF programme developer, and a craft baker with 40 years’ experience.”

The apprenticeship was introduced by Truro & Penwith College in 2018 after it recognised an upsurge of interest in all things baking related, thanks to television programmes such as the Great British Bake Off.

However, in view of the importance of the baking industry to Cornwall’s economy, it was keen to provide a course that would appeal specifically to the industry’s needs. 

The FDQ qualification is the only course of its kind across the southwest provided through a college.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside Prima to develop our bakery apprenticeship programme and deliver the skills needed in the workplace,” said David. “Jason was the very first learner to join the craft baker apprenticeship in 2018 and we are very proud that he has become the first learner in the UK to complete the programme. We wish him every success in his new career.”

“Baking lies at the heart of Cornwall’s amazing food and drink scene. It’s therefore vital that we nurture the next generation of master bakers and encourage more youngsters to consider it as a fulfilling and enjoyable profession,” added Mark, who this year celebrates 10 years of owning Prima Bakeries.

“The new FDQ course is exemplary and, on the back of Jason’s success, we are keen to take on a new apprentice at Prima Bakeries to help continue to build the future of craft baking in Cornwall.”

Image: Prima’s apprentice craft baker Jason Bennellick (left) with Prima general bakery manager Ross Buist

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