Training triumph

first_imgThere was one company which undoubtedly came out on top when it came to training at the Baking Industry Awards last year. A fourth generation business, still owned and run by the Coopland family, Coopland & Son (Scarborough) has grown enormously since it moved to its purpose-built factory and current site in Caxton Way nearly 20 years ago. Back then the business had nine shops, explains operations manager Robert Pashley and winner of The Achievement in Bakery Training Award, sponsored by Rich Products. His colleague, production manager John Ruddock, took home the Trainee Baker of the Year award sponsored by Improve and the National Skills Academy.In 2007 the business bought Hull-based Skeltons out of administration, which took it up to 77 shops with an additional factory. Today, the total stands at 86 outlets, plus seven cafés, after it acquired 10 of Leeds-based Ainsley’s shops earlier this year.Passion for trainingAlthough Cooplands is always on the look-out for new opportunities, Pashley points out that it is important that it expands at a rate that the business allows. “Our focus is on our shops, and we don’t want to lose sight of what’s important to the customer,” he stresses.Pashley says MD Paul Coopland is passionate about training. All Cooplands’ employees have on-the-job training and the firm has started its own training programme this year, with the help of a retired college lecturer. Pashley, production director Chris Wainwright and Ruddock worked with the lecturer to create a bespoke programme. Pashley says the firm also used the National Bakery School as a source of information for the proposed training. It includes bread, pastry and confectionery production, and confectionery finishing, delivered at its Scarborough and Hull sites.As operations manager, Pashley’s role is varied and includes overseeing the operations in the main bakery, the transport system and the shops, as well as elements of training. “It is important that you train, as without it you wouldn’t have a future. Training has to go forward; it’s the only way we can survive as an industry,” he says.Having the right structure in place and the right team working with you is key to training success, he adds, likening it to a bicycle tyre. If the hub isn’t right, the spoke and rim falls apart.Pashley was already a qualified baker when he joined Cooplands in 1994, having completed a City & Guilds, and worked in a number of craft bakeries, but still underwent the NVQ Level 2 when he started. “When I came here Cooplands had just started the NVQ programme we were one of the first to actually register for it and I thought, yes I already know it, but it can’t hurt to do it again.”He went on to take his assessors and trainers qualifications and a Certificate of Education, which he says covered how to deliver training and knowledge on the factory floor on a one-to-one and group basis. A measure of how successful the training and progression is at Cooplands is that the company has a low level of staff turnover.”It’s great to see people coming up through the ranks, and we need that succession to continue,” he says. “The training enables the company to be more profitable and for products to be made to a consistently high standard. If you can offer products made to a high standard and at a good price, what more can you offer?”Team effortPashley is by no means the only one who delivers training at the company, but it was agreed that he should be put forward as the representative for Cooplands at the Awards. He says the win was morale-boosting and although he was the one on stage, it was a reward for Cooplands and a team effort across the board. He explains that, when the judges came to visit the bakery, they asked what he would do if he was given £10k to spend on training. His response was that it wouldn’t make any difference to the training Cooplands does. “At the end of the day the training will go ahead whether we have the money or we don’t,” he says. “You don’t need much money to train, but you do need time.”Ruddock joined Cooplands in November 2001 aged 17 as part of the hygiene team, but quickly rose through the ranks, achieving the position of trainee charge hand in the bakery after around 18 months. He did a nine-month in-house training course a mixture of on-the-job training and some classroom work. He then moved up to a charge hand’s position within confectionery production and shortly after was promoted to supervisor. It was then that he was asked if he wanted to go to college. Ruddock undertook a BTEC National Certificate in Food Science and Manufacturing Technology at Thomas Danby College from 2006-08, which he passed with a double merit award.”In 2007 Cooplands merged confectionery production and bread production together, and I was asked to be in charge of that,” explains Ruddock. “And in April this year I was promoted to production manager (one of three).” He is now responsible for 14 staff over Cooplands’ two shifts. His day-to-day tasks involve making sure the right number of products have been made and that the quality is right, overseeing staff training rotas, health and safety training and delivering team briefs. “I also get quite involved with product development, which I enjoy,” he adds.Ruddock says that one of the judges told him that a key reason why he was chosen as winner of the Trainee Baker of the Year category was because of something he didn’t say, rather than what he did. Ruddock asked the judge to elaborate and was told that he hadn’t gone on about the quality of the products, because it was obvious that the importance of this goes without saying. “Everyone here was expecting me to win, but I really wasn’t, so I was chuffed to bits.”Ruddock believes that bakeries should get in touch with schools more, so that bakery can be promoted as a reputable career choice. “Careers such as being a chef have been marketed so well, but bakery hasn’t,” he says. And he himself admits that he didn’t fully realise the complexity of bakery and the science behind it until he studied it at college.Cooplands has had open days at the bakery in the past, and attended exhibitions and career conventions. It also takes young people on for work experience and hopes to employ more young people at 25, Ruddock is the company’s youngest employee.Pashley also hints that the firm is looking at setting up its own in-house apprenticeship, although there are no concrete plans as yet. “It’s important not only to think about tomorrow, but three months, six months, five years ahead,” he says.last_img read more

Badgers thrash UW-Milwaukee

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoMake no mistake about it — Joe Krabbenhoft doesn’t want to be known as the team’s main scoring catalyst, let alone as a scoring threat.Preferring to do the team’s dirty work by grabbing rebounds, diving on the floor for loose balls and doing all the little things to make sure the University of Wisconsin ends up on with tallies in the win column are things that rank much higher for the senior than putting the ball in the basket.But when his team needed an offensive push in the first half against UW-Milwaukee on Saturday, Krabbenhoft begrudgingly obliged.Averaging only 5.8 points in UW’s first five games, Krabbenhoft scored a season-high 12 points, including a vital nine first-half points, and added 10 rebounds to help No. 25 Wisconsin pull away in the second half, beating in-state rival UW-Milwaukee, 67-46, Saturday afternoon.“We did a great job playing Wisconsin basketball,” Krabbenhoft said. “We wanted to go out there, play hard and do those (little) things, and the score will take care of itself, which it did.”Krabbenhoft, who fell one point short of his career high, had been providing for Wisconsin (5-1) in a variety of areas in the early weeks of the season, except on the scoreboard. Leading the team in both assists and rebounds by a solid margin, Krabbenhoft’s season high entering the game was a quiet seven points.But with his teammates starting the game 3-for-10 shooting and struggling from the floor, Krabbenhoft picked up the void, scoring nine of his 12 points in the game’s first 10 minutes and all at opportune times.All four of his first-half baskets came with Wisconsin either tied or trailing the Panthers, a team that had diligently battled Marquette throughout the first half before losing by 20 last week, and all of the points came with his size advantage in the paint. For the game, the Badgers outscored the Panthers 26-18 under the basket with Krabbenhoft doing most of the dirty work early on.“My teammates did a great job of finding me down low,” said Krabbenhoft, who also had three assists with no turnovers. “I had a height advantage of some of the guys guarding me, and they were just easy buckets. I tried to get my hands on some offensive rebounds that went my way, and I did my best job of trying to finish.”UW-Milwaukee (3-4) didn’t go away though, which was evident by the Panthers being within three points at 26-23 with four minutes, 40 seconds left in the first half. From there, however, it was all Wisconsin, as the Badgers closed the first half on an 11-4 run and kept their foot on the accelerator after halftime, rattling off a 23-8 run to open the half, eliminating all doubts of another in-state victory for Wisconsin.“The first 17 minutes of the game, we seemed to be doing the things that followed the game plan,” said UWM head coach and former Badger assistant Rob Jeter, as the Panthers fell to 1-25 lifetime against the Badgers. “That didn’t carry over into the last three minutes of the first half and into the second half where the dry spell was a big partof the lack of success tonight.”After 22 turnovers turned into 31-Connecticut points one week ago, costing UW a chance at beating the country’s second-ranked team, the Badgers cleaned up their act. UW-Milwaukee scored only four points off six Wisconsin turnovers while the Badgers turned 11 UW-Milwaukee turnovers into 13 points.“You don’t want to have turnovers. Turnovers lead to other baskets for the other team,” senior Marcus Landry said. “That’s something we try to focus on and make sure that we are handling the ball and making good decisions.”Krabbenhoft wasn’t alone in the scoring department for the Badgers, as junior Trevon Hughes scored a game-high 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting, including 4-for-4 from behind the three-point line, and Landry chipped in with 12. The three leaders on Wisconsin scored 40 of UW’s 67 points and shot 15-for-25 (60 percent).“We just ran our offense, made the extra pass and were getting open looks,” said Hughes, UW’s leading scorer this season at 14.2 points per game. “We’ve got unselfish people on this team — and sometimes we’re too unselfish. But this time we got into the paint, we drove and kicked it; we had our shooters open, our big men making plays in the post, and our shots were falling.”With the Badgers facing Virginia Tech (4-2) tonight in Blacksburg for their first true road game of the season, Wisconsin will be able to show off what they learned from the Connecticut game. Of course, the Badgers will have had little time to prepare for the Hokies. After beating UW-Milwaukee Saturday afternoon, the Badgers had a brief walkthrough on Sunday before flying to Blacksburg for their game tonight, marking their fifth game in the last 10 days.The Hokies, meanwhile, last played on Nov. 26 and will be well-rested and prepared for the Badgers.“The Big Ten office had our schedule. They knew we played Saturday. If you play Saturday, you don’t want the Monday game. And, of course, we got the Monday game,” UW head coach Bo Ryan said. “It’s the NBA schedule.”last_img read more

CARICOM, Cuba foreign ministers address issues affecting region

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign ministers and their Cuban counterpart have ended a meeting here supporting efforts by the 15-member regional grouping to find a peaceful solution to the economic and political crisis in Venezuela.The foreign ministers who met here under the aegis of the Sixth CARICOM-Cuba Ministerial Meeting, also adopted a resolution urging that the region be declared a zone of peace, condemning the United States decision to tighten its trade and economic embargo against Havana, as well as criticise the European Union over its decision to list a number of countries as tax havens.In addition, the meeting agreed on the need to improve trade relations between CARICOM and Cuba, climate change, condemn the efforts of developed countries to dismantle corresponding banking mechanisms as well as the current “graduation” criteria for official development assistance so as to adequately reflect the reality and specific needs of Highly-Indebted Middle Income Countries, particularly Caribbean states.last_img read more

In Cairo a novelist sorts out his fears and hopes for Egypts

first_imgCAIRO — On Friday, as protests grew across the city, I made my way to the offices of al-Jazeera here to be interviewed about Egypt’s turmoil.As I traveled, I thought about a particular piece of Egyptian history. In 1954, the year Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi was born, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser was targeted by an assassination attempt. In Alexandria, a Muslim Brotherhood member fired eight shots, missing Nasser and injuring one of his guards.I arrived at my destination still lost in thought. On the seventh floor, a cautious employee received me and asked why I was visiting. I must have said I was going to try to explain the current situation in a rational manner, which is not easy.Have a seat, please, he said.Inside the studios, footage of protests and shootings was mixed with similar sounds coming from downstairs, where Muslim Brotherhood militias were surrounding the radio and TV building and clashing violently with protesters opposed to ousted president Mohammed Morsi.I left my chair and walked to the thick glass window that was covered in black cloth, to try and observe them: Muslim Brotherhood militia members were wearing shields and helmets to protect themselves from the bullets and birdshot raining down on them from the Sixth of October bridge.In the past few days, I had been keen to use my little camera to document what was going on around me: the masses of people who flooded to the streets around Ittihadiya, the presidential palace, where Morsi had been working before the June 30 deadline that protesters had given the president to leave office. Car horns played a symphony of joy, which mixed with the sounds of the vuvuzela — normally saved for when Egypt wins the African Cup of Nations — as if the departure of Morsi was a closed case.I filmed the army jets flying over, covered with green lasers shining from the hands of the protesters who were carrying Egyptian flags and photos of the not-yet-ousted president underlined with “Go out,” or “No to the Muslim Brotherhood president.”Now you can listen to chants mixed with vuvuzela, smell the grilled corn and the black tea; a festival as if celebrating Hitler’s departure.On July 2, we took pictures of the graffiti on the palace wall and moved to a nearby coffee shop to watch Morsi’s speech. It was directed at his supporters, seeming to ignore millions of Egyptians, threatening massive chaos if he is ousted, and repeating the word legitimacy over and over (I wonder what Freud would say about that?).“Ahmed, can you hear me?” The question brought me to the future, to the darkness, bullets and ambulance sirens.“You will be on air in a few seconds.”I was in another flashback. To Wednesday night. All eyes were glued to the screens, in total silence, with flags swaying slightly in the tender air. The deep voice of al-Sissi announced the temporary halt of the constitution and the appointment of the president of the constitutional court to lead the country in a transitional period.Everyone was cheering; some were praying, thanking God. Civilians joined soldiers and officers in singing the Egyptian national anthem.“Ahmed, you are on air.”I don’t know what I said. Did I say I am against the death of anyone, whether he is with or against me? Did I say it is a win-win or a lose-lose situation?I finished the interview in a few minutes and left the building. In few hundred yards, I melted into the protesters in Tahrir Square. I hoped then — and continue to hope, even as the violence escalates — that the army will not let us down.Al-Aidy is the author of the novel “Being Abbas el Abd.” This essay was translated from Arabic by Nermin Abdelrahman.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more