Home > News > Archive > 30th September 2004

Inaugural baker of the year

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier

274041 ADTe Awamutu’s Murray Swetman has won the inaugural Progressive Enterprises’ Bakery Apprentice of the Year award.

The 32-year-old is a Bakery Manager at Woolworths Supermarket.

Mr Swetman has been at the store for three years and has a team of three full time and four part time bakers and packers.

He has been baking for 15 years, but only took the opportunity to undertake his apprenticeship once he had moved to Te Awamutu.

Mr Swetman says while he was a late starter as far as his training was concerned, he has been baking all his adult life.

Part of his role is the development of new products to suit customers’ needs. He says all breads and cakes are baked on site daily, and new product, such as gluten free and yeast free breads are being developed. Next month gluten free cakes will be added to the range.

It is the first year of the new internal award, created by national grocery chain Progressive Enterprises to acknowledge success within the business.

They operate an apprentice programme across all its Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown brands and currently employ 93 bakery apprentices.

There were 17 nominees for the award and five other finalists from Woolworths and Countdown stores in Dunedin, Johnsonville, Palmerston North (2) and Papamoa.

To be eligible to enter the competition, apprentices needed to complete their National Certificate in Baking between February 2003 and July 2004. The National Certificate in Baking is achieved through on the job training, by distance learning and in the classroom. The progress of all apprentices is also closely monitored.

The National Certificate in Baking aids Progressive Enterprises in maintaining a high standard of staff because they believe that quality service and products begins with quality training.

“Murray was chosen because he demonstrated excellence in practical baking skills, work place attitude, baking knowledge and merchandising and customer service skills. He has been awarded with an outward bound course for his achievement,” says Richard Umbers, Progressive Enterprises chief operating officer.