Bakery staff cooking up a top result

Left to right: Maureen Turner, Jenny Hardacre, Sammaira Bashir, Bill Oddie, Janine Crewe, Fiona McLaughlin, Andrew Stephenson, Jennifer Watson, Rachel Sawley, Anne Banks, Stephanie Young, Linda Slinger, Simon Abram.

Left to right: Maureen Turner, Jenny Hardacre, Sammaira Bashir, Bill Oddie, Janine Crewe, Fiona McLaughlin, Andrew Stephenson, Jennifer Watson, Rachel Sawley, Anne Banks, Stephanie Young, Linda Slinger, Simon Abram.

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Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson made a special visit to his constituency’s Oddie’s Bakery to present eleven employees with their hard-earned qualifications.

The retail staff who work across eight of Oddie’s 16 stores in East Lancashire including Burnley, have worked for more than 12 months to gain their Level 2 diplomas and apprenticeships alongside Preston’s College.

Linda Slinger, who works at the Network 65 Business Park store in Burnley, received a Level 2 Diploma in Retail Skills alongside five other learners, while Janine Crewe from the store on St James Street, picked up a Level 2 Retail Apprenticeship along with four others.

Established in 1905, Oddie’s Bakery employs around 200 members of staff between Todmorden and Blackburn that help maintain its reputation as a quality confectioner.

Speaking of their accomplishments, Conservative MP Mr Stephenson, said: “It is really important to celebrate what the Oddie’s Bakery staff have achieved and their commitment to lifelong learning.

“Recognition must also go to the bakery that has demonstrated a commitment to upskilling their workforce.

“In recent years, Apprenticeships in Lancashire have doubled with learners of all ages capitalising on the opportunity to learn on the job while earning a wage. It also means that when the programme finishes, they are work ready.”

To ensure staff maintain high levels of service, Oddie’s Bakery demonstrate a commitment to keep its workforce upskilled with the latest sector-specific qualifications.

The initiative came into fruition in early 2014 when the bakery approached Preston’s College to help its front of house staff gain qualifications that match their skills.

Bill Oddie, managing director of Nelson-based Oddie’s Bakery, added: “I’m extremely pleased for all of the Oddie’s Bakery staff that have received qualifications from Preston’s College. With most employees having to now work well into their 60s, it’s important to maintain their skills with the latest industry standard qualifications.”

“I would like to thank Preston’s College for their training, tailored to meet the needs of our employees.”

Preston’s College work with a number of employers across Lancashire to deliver bespoke training package that meet the needs their business needs.

Simon Abram, retail assessor for Preston’s College, commented: “A large number of the Oddie’s Bakery staff have not been in education for a large number of years. As such, the way they have applied themselves has been exemplary with a first class commitment and professionalism throughout their qualification.”