In the news last week came reports that the government will be reintroducing home economics. Fifteen years ago they didn’t want to know and now all the teachers have dropped out. It’s like shooting an athlete in the foot before they begin a race.In our own industry the Doomsday clock stands at three minutes to midnight. It is important you all know that colleges have not had a free hand with the direction it has taken. Our industry lead body tells us what we can teach and the government tells us how much money they will give us to do it with. Every year there has been some form of cut in funding to contend with. And I suspect the colleges will have difficulties with the new skills framework.The Anglo/Welsh training scheme had experts, some industry backing and co-operation from some colleges, but was not economically viable.There is a dearth of skilled bakery educated staff. My view is that we should have a bakery skills centre, locate it central to the country, near the motorway and have it governed by reps from all the industry sectors. The centre would set its own standards, have funding via a tax on a raw material, such as flour, and use colleges and training providers (working together) to fill the widening skills gap.BB has provided a forum so you can make your views known and the Association of Bakery Students & Trainees has worked out a formula for a National Skills Aca-demy for Bakery (BB, 25 January, pg 16). Let’s unite behind this model and provide a new, united bakery training provision. === Skilled workers are in short supply ===There is a massive shortfall in the level of skills in bakery, with many employees being functionally illiterate and over 50% falling below Level 2 qualifications (five good GCSE passes). If the industry is rise to the consumer demand for better and more innovative products at a competitive price, this area needs to be challenged.The primary focus may be apprentices. Last year, there were 96 bakery apprentices from a workforce population of 96,000. Improve, the skills sector council says the apprenticeship route has been reviewed and the new pathways are intended to enable candidates to develop into skilled craftspeople, managers, supervisors, machine operatives etc. This route aims to allow the sector to develop its own talent and deliver the people in the right place with the right skills at the right time.
Dominic McDermott getting ready to celebrate Solstice this SundayFancy marking this Sunday – the longest day of the year – at Ireland’s most northerly point?Well if you don’t mind the early rise, enjoy a cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich, then Bamba’s Crown at the tip of Malin Head is the place to be!And it’s all thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of an English chap and his Belfast born better half. Dominic McDermott and his wife Andrea operate Ireland most northerly bakery and coffee shop from their home base at Ireland’s most northerly town land, Ballyhillion.They have two mobile coffee shops and from Easter to September their little ‘three wheel baby van’ climbs the hill to Bamba’s Crown where you can treat yourself to delicious fresh Barista coffee, home baked cakes, pastries etc while enjoying the breath taking scenery.Throughout the year there’s a good chance you could meet their ‘grown up van’ at markets, festivals, work places, beaches, shows, weddings etc around Inishowen.This van was custom built for them with a large oven and fridge as well as a Fracino Espresso machine allowing them to bring delicious hot and cold sandwiches and wraps, pies, soups, stews, chilli as well as their fantastic coffee and baking to places other café’s can’t reach The couple decided three years ago that they would like to mark the Solstice by doing something different.“So at Solstice time we decided to come up to Bamba’s Crown at 2.30pm, throw on a barbecue and about 50 people turned up and we thought this was great,” said Dominic.He added: “We did it again last year and about 90 turned up so this year we’ve decided to go for it once more. I know there’s a big event on at the Grianán of Aileach but we just wanted something low key and simple where people could just come, sit on the rocks, have a cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich and watch the sun come up.The sun rises around 4.40am on Sunday, June 21 but if you make it to Malin Head, Dominic and Andrea will be waiting for you from about 3am onwards.“As far as we’re concerned this is now an annual event. This is a really magical place to watch the sun rise and the view is just astounding,” he said Local resident and one of those campaigning for a top quality tourist facility for the area, Ali Farren said they saw the potential Malin Head had to become a major attraction but needed all agencies to get behind the idea and develop it properly.“We have a fabulous history here but it’s our future that’s more important. I reckon the figure of 200,000 visitors a year is conservative because there’s not a day goes by but you meet someone here. We need the infrastructure and the facilities,” he said.Ali and friends will be holding a musical session at Bamba’s Crown on Solstice evening.“Malin Head has seven minutes more sunlight than anywhere else in Ireland because of our location so what better way to end this special day than in the company of musicians from near and far as the sun goes down. They do it everywhere else in the world, why not here,” he said. DONEGAL SOLSTICE WITH A SANDWICH AND A SONG! was last modified: June 18th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Bamba’s CrownCoffeedonegalMalin Head
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