Ask any small business in today’s world and they will tell you there is a skill shortage, and they struggle to find and retain good staff. With Covid lingering in the air and mutating faster than we can keep up and evidence of an aging workforce the baking industry is no stranger to the skill shortage problem.
Regardless many bakeries are thriving as a result of demographic changes brought on by consumers working from home and spending more time in the suburbs. The problem is there aren’t enough willing and able workers to support them.
In 2022 the NBIA has made it one of our strategic goals to facilitate a skilled workforce for the Australian Baking Industry. This is a long-term goal that we are approaching from many directions and by collaborating with government departments and industry stakeholders we aim to ease the struggle.
The Australian Government defines a skill shortage as a situation where employers can’t fill vacancies in an occupation or in a specialisation of that occupation, where current pay levels and standard employment conditions are offered, and the location of the job is easy to access.
Generally, a skill shortage is caused by changes in the global economy, regional location of the job in question, an industry with a high number of mature workers who create a gap when they retire, the time it takes to qualify in the skill, and the introduction of new technologies which result in a shortfall of qualified people.
From a baking perspective businesses struggle to attract staff due to unsocial able hours, low pay rates in comparison to other trades, and the need for regular weekend work. As a baker, you are required to work extremely hard which can impact on physical health and mental health.
Taking all this into considerations leaves us with a list of avenues to approach the skill shortage in the baking industry. Solutions are varied and include bringing workers in from outside Australia, developing workers who are already in the industry, and enticing school students to commit to a career in baking.
So, as an association who wants to see a thriving baking industry, what does that mean for us? At the time of writing this blog post we have announced several opportunities and are working on many more in the background.
Pilot PaTH Baking Program
This is a new pilot program by the Department of Skills, Education, and Employment in conjunction with National Retail Association and the NBIA that aims to assist bakery businesses with support and subsidies for hiring new staff. The program provides candidate screening, entry level training, subsidies, and support as you bring the candidate into your business. To register your interest or find out more information about this program click here.
Bakery Business Job Board
If you are looking for a new apprentice, let us know about it and we will advertise your job vacancy to potential candidates around Australia. We have connected with AASNs such as MEGT and Busy At Work to access their register of interested workers including school age and after school age candidates. Click here to let us know all about your recruitment needs.
Industry Promotion to High Schools
The NBIA is running a series of events throughout the year to engage with high schools and students in an effort to educate them on opportunities within the baking industry. If you believe that your local school would like to take part in these activities, please contact us and let us know.
Promotion of jobs to the industry
We have several marketing channels that will promote your job vacancy directly to the baking industry. Communication within the industry is something we excel at and advertising your job with us means you will reach an audience of potential job candidates. To advertise your job with the NBIA simply send us the details of the job, along with the name of your business, and who to contact for an application via email or Facebook messenger.
The NBIA team recently attended the 2022 Queensland Workforce Summit. The event facilitated an opportunity to work in partnership to identify and co-design practical solutions for addressing the state’s current workforce shortages and harness future opportunities for ongoing economic growth.
Key focus areas of discussion at the summit included growing your own, shaping work-ready Queenslanders through school-to-work experiences, maximising workforce participation, supporting employers to attract and retain suitable staff, skill development pathways, and emerging and growth industries in Queensland. Click here to watch the live stream and learn more about the summit.
Statistics show that by 2024-25 the Queensland workforce will be more educated with Certificate levels III and IV showing the highest percentage, closely followed by the bachelor’s degree. The Accommodation and Foodservices sector will show the second largest growth followed by the retail trade sector. As a bakery business you fall into both of these sectors, so now is the time to invest in your current staff, develop their skills, and incentivise them to invest in your business.
Addressing the skill shortage in the bakery industry is an on-going and long-term goal of the NBIA. Although we are at the beginning of this journey, we are investing a lot of time and resources into the issue. If you are interested in learning more about how you can assist us to achieve this long term goal, please contact the team at NBIA.