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Brumby’s forced to hire foreign bakers

February 14, 2006

Brumby’s forced to hire foreign bakers to beat skill shortage

Leading New Zealand and Australian bakery franchise Brumby’s has been forced to hire 20 bakers from Vietnam after an Australian-wide skill shortage saw it fail to find enough qualified staff for its stores.

The bakers, who have all obtained Australian Trade Qualifications, will arrive in March on four year work visas and be employed at bakeries across Australia.

Brumby’s managing director Michael Sherlock said the franchise had made the decision to hire the foreign bakers as a last resort after a two year recruitment drive failed to secure enough qualified Australian staff for its stores.

“The shortage of qualified bakers means some of our franchises have had to close in recent months while other store owners who have wanted to expand have had to shelve those plans,” Mr Sherlock said.

“We are still advertising for apprentices in five states and are desperately looking for qualified Australian bakers but as a fall back we have turned to overseas staff.”

Mr Sherlock said Brumby’s had chosen Vietnamese bakers because Vietnam was a former French colony and they had been trained in traditional Western-style baking.

“Apart from earning Australian Trade Qualifications before they are allowed to come to Australia, we are also giving these bakers additional training in areas such safety and cultural awareness,” Mr Sherlock said.

“In Australia they will be paid the usual award wages.”

Mr Sherlock said while foreign chefs had been coming to Australia since the 1950s, the Australian Government had only recently widened its program to include trades such as baking in the face of the skills shortage.

“Hopefully, with government and industry encouragement, we will soon see more young Australians undertaking traditional trades like baking so we can overcome this skills shortage,” Mr Sherlock said.

ENDS

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