BIG tackles dearth of professional bakers with training
Bakery Initiatives Group (BIG), a Dutch bakery consulting firm, has rounded off its three-week intensive training programme in Surulere, Lagos, with over 50 participants benefitting.
The training is aimed at addressing the dearth of well-groomed and professional bakers in Nigeria, according to Ephraim Mbanaso, country representative and chief executive officer, Bakery Initiatives Nigeria. Mbanaso said his company identified this vital area of need in its interactions with bakery operators in Nigeria over the years.
The training programme, a continuation of BIG’s intervention in Nigeria, began last year with a train-the-trainers programme with the objective to increase the theoretical and practical knowledge of participants in the bakery and confectionary industry.
The programme is in line with BIG’s philosophy that identifies well-trained and grounded people as one of the essential pillars for the success of any bakery business, Nike Richie-Ogbodu, director and head of BIG Training, said. She added that the idea behind the training is centred on skill acquisition for all categories of human resources needed for the effective and efficient running of bakery businesses.
The training programme saw the participants trained on various aspects of bakery, such as technology and practice of baking of bread, cakes and pastries with special emphasis on recipes, effects of basic ingredients, cost calculations, among others.
With support funding from BMZ/develoPPP.de, BIG put together the programme to train and re-train bakers in Nigeria with a view to equipping them with the requisite knowledge to succeed in bakery business. The programme acquainted participants with baking skills and other necessary knowledge needed to run bakeries profitably, while also exposing them to international best practices and emerging trends in the bakery industry.
And participants have described the programme as valuable beyond their expectations.
“I was introduced by someone who participated in the programme earlier and I could not believe that an organisation can give out so much in so short a time without collecting money, but being here today, I have seen for myself and I am wowed,” said Djebah Omolara, one of the trainees.
Another participant, Uduak Akpan, said, “The experience and knowledge gained about baking various kinds of products and bakery business in general within the one week of the training is unimaginable.”
On his experience during the training, Richfield Andrew, who has been in the bakery business for more than 10 years, said, “I was thrilled not only by the exposure to the new insights about baking various products but also the other area of the training that taught us the entrepreneurial aspect of bakery.”