Thirteen Jump Starters were thrilled to graduate as bakers and confectioners for the SPAR Group
Thirteen MRP Foundation Jump Start students proved their worth in the classroom and the kitchen, graduating at the inaugural SPAR Bakery Graduation

READY, SET, BAKE: A baker’s dozen of thirteen, celebrated their graduation, through the partnership between SPAR, MRP Foundation and Chipkins Puratos. Picture: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee

 

After an intensive 18-month internship to train as bakers and confectioners for the SPAR Group, thirteen Jump Start students proved their worth in the classroom and the kitchen, graduating at the inaugural SPAR Bakery Graduation. Held at the Belaire Suites Hotel, North Beach on 27 March 2018, the graduation also celebrated the good news that the majority of graduates are now proudly employed as bakers at various SPAR stores throughout KZN.

SPAR, together with Chipkins Puratos and the skills development programme, Jump Start, assisted the graduates to achieve their career dreams, with each young graduate receiving a SETA accredited NQF 2 Qualification with a National Certificate in Bread and Flour Confectionery Baking, which is recognised across the African continent.

Over the in-depth one-and-a-half year training period, students learned the core functions of making bread, rolls and confectionery. They also learned basic mathematics and communication skills, an integral requirement for any competent baker. Chipkins Puratos, which offers a full range of innovative products and expertise for artisans, industry and retailers in the bakery, sectors, offered the certified training for the graduates.

According to Richard Kuppan, National Training Manager for Chipkins Puratos, bakers are the fourth-most scarce skill in South Africa, with Kuppan commenting on the internship at the high-spirited graduation. “Chipkins Puratos were responsible for the theory and practical elements of this programme. Students received work experience at SPAR stores across KZN. This was our first partnership with SPAR and MRP Foundation and it proved highly successful. The enthusiasm and interest expressed by the students was a very motivating factor for us.”

Graduate Cebo Ngubane, a baker at Avonmore SuperSpar in Durban said, “For me, the internship had many ups and downs. At times I wanted to give up but imagining myself graduate as a proud baker is what motivated me to keep going.”

Thuli Tabudi, the SPAR Group’s HR Executive Manager, advised the graduates:

“This is the beginning of your journey. What are your dreams and aspirations? Do what you must do today in order to realise your dream in ten years time! Our relationship is an example of how two passionate South Africa retailers can actually partner to find a way to deal with major social issues such as unemployment.”

Words: Farzanah Asmal