Puratos India has inaugurated its Bakery School at the Shirvane School and Junior College in Navi Mumbai. With few professional bakery schools in India, but a growing demand for skilled labour in the ever-increasing number of hotels, bakeries, pastry shops and supermarkets, Puratos has decided to share its expertise and skills in bakery, patisserie and chocolate. 25 students will be enrolled each year for an intensive 2-year program.
New bakeries, cake shops and supermarkets, hotels and cruise ships are facing shortages in skilled labor in the sector. The school will teach 16-17 year-olds the professional skills needed to work across all three sectors – bakery, patisserie and chocolate.
The school is located on the premises of the Shirvane School and Junior College in Navi Mumbai and the 25 students enrolled each year will be selected primarily from this school, many of whose 3,000 students come from underprivileged backgrounds. Dhiren Kanwar, Country Head, Puratos Indian Subcontinent said, “We see a huge gap in availability of skilled craftspeople in the Bakery & Patisserie industry. On the other hand, there are many students who do not have the opportunity to acquire skills or higher education due to lack of resources. As a key player in the industry, it is our responsibility to bridge that gap.”
The specially-selected teachers for the bakery school have experience not just in the technical areas of bakery, patisserie and chocolate, but also in computers, finance, presentation and soft skills such as teamwork and communication. The teachers have received additional technical training at a bakery school in Belgium as well as further teaching skills.
The 2- year course at the Baking School, organized over 4 semesters, offers basics of baking and patisserie and advanced levels of patisserie, sugar work and chocolate making in year two. In addition to the strong technical foundation, students will be introduced to new methods and materials in the industry. The program will also involve short periods of work experience in various companies, for which students will be paid.
Peter Deriemaeker, Markets Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said, “Since 2007 Puratos India has invested significantly in people and resources to develop a strong foothold on the Indian market. As an international company we acknowledge that our business operates in a community and contributes to the wellbeing of this community. This bakery school is another way to contribute to the community, providing schooling to underprivileged youngsters in a domain guaranteeing them later a good employment”
The school has an equal opportunity policy for boys and girls and students are recruited irrespective of social background. Other companies
participating in the program will be encouraged to engage students who graduate and Puratos India or other Puratos subsidiaries may go on to employ students, although all such engagements would be made entirely on merit. We live in a competition era. Today we find students struggling to carve a niche for them in the industry. “We at Shirvane School and Junior College have always catered to students from Low Income Group. Puratos is a renowned company and a major player in the Bakery Industry today globally. We are honoured to have been a part of this endeavor. The Bakery industry is booming today, but we have seen there is a need of skilled labourers here. Puratos is helping them in the process and creating employment for the needy students”, explains Dr. Rajesh Patil, President, Shirvane School and Junior College.