Of pies and pastries

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A SHINING FACILITY… From left, GOTAFE bakery trainer Kim Banfield, bakery trainer Stephen Pinnuck, executive director of student attraction and community engagement Kellie Vise, bakery trainer Jarrod Taylor, past GOTAFE student Kyla Wagner, and commercial manager Ross Graham. Photo: Katelyn Morse.

BAKERIES in rural areas are extremely underrated. I used to live in Melbourne where it is near impossible to find a home-cooked pie or sausage roll. Upon returning to Shepparton, I was surprised and grateful to see such a variety of bakeries doing well and cooking delicious treats.

Despite this, many bakeries in the Hume region have reported a critical shortage of qualified baking staff to fill roles in baking, front and back of house, and pastry cooking.

Working collaboratively with bakeries across the region, GOTAFE have recently opened new baking facilities, made possible due to funding from the Victorian State Government’s Regional and Specialist Training Fund (RSTF).

GOTAFE CEO, Travis Heeney said, “The RSTF funding allows GOTAFE to provide a fully upgraded simulated baking facility that students can learn and hone their skills in. By doing so, our students are learning the skills the industry requires to help meet the critical need for staff.”

To celebrate, the baking department threw open its doors to industry with trainers on hand to showcase facilities and provide information about the courses on offer, including the Certificate 2 in Baking.