Booming Village Bakery creates 20 more new jobs

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Twenty more new jobs are up for grabs at a booming bakery which has just announced an inflation-busting pay increase of up to eight per cent for production workers.

The award-winning Village Bakery need extra staff for a new gluten-free bakery that’s being launched later in the year and to put two extra shifts on at their existing bakeries.

The latest batch of recruits will be on top of another 20 people taken on over the summer.

The company currently employs more than 400 people at their two bakeries on Wrexham Industrial Estate and their base up the road in Minera.

Village Bakery Management development programme; Pictured (front L/R ) Kath Ashcroft, dispatch manager, Leighton Howells, production supervisor, Tom Jackson, production supervisor, Claire Jones, sales admin manager, Kris Green, group project manager, Tom Breeze, Minera bakery manager, Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones, Kerry Wilson, pie room manager, Operations director Simon Thorpe, and Malgorzata Cukiermann, dispatch supervisor and hygiene manager.
Village Bakery Management development programme; Pictured (front L/R ) Kath Ashcroft, dispatch manager, Leighton Howells, production supervisor, Tom Jackson, production supervisor, Claire Jones, sales admin manager, Kris Green, group project manager, Tom Breeze, Minera bakery manager, Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones, Kerry Wilson, pie room manager, Operations director Simon Thorpe, and Malgorzata Cukiermann, dispatch supervisor and hygiene manager.

They are spending £12 million on converting the former Caparo Wire factory on the industrial estate into a state-of-the-art production facility for a new Gluten Freedom range.

They also have a groaning order book for the more traditional baked and morning goods for which the Village Bakery is famed.

The family-run firm will be among the 50 exhibitors taking part in the careers fair being run by Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

The university’s Head of Careers, Karen Lennox, said: “We are very pleased to be working with the Village Bakery on the Careers Fair and look forward to seeing them there. With around 20 roles to fill, they will certainly be in the right place!

“Our annual Careers Fair draws employers from across North Wales and the North West and there’s not only the chance to meet with industry-leading firms like the Village Bakery, but also to get free CV advice, find out about mentoring and volunteering – and much more.

It’s open to the public, so anyone interested should come down and find out more – you’ll be very welcome.”

The Village Bakery will be holding two open days for job seekers who are unable to attend the careers fair

The first session will be at their headquarters on Wrexham Industrial Estate between 8.30am and 5.30pm on Tuesday, October 23, and at the bakery in Minera during the same times two days later on Thursday, October 25.

Everybody who attends the open day is guaranteed a job interview.

HR manager Emma Stevens said: “Due to our expansion we are looking to put on two additional shifts and we are also recruiting staff for when the new gluten-free bakery opens in December.

“We have new rates of pay so new recruits will be earning £8.50 an hour initially and then £8.75 once they successfully complete their three-month probationary period.

“These are exciting times at the Village Bakery and there are fantastic career prospects for people who are willing to work hard and apply themselves.

“We have a track record of growing our own and most of our supervisors and managers started out as apprentices and worked their way up the ranks.”

Among them is Tom Breeze, 29, who started as a 16-year-old apprentice straight from school and is one of the first 11 graduates of the new in-house management development programme at the Village Bakery.

Tom is now the manager of the Minera bakery and has a team of 200 people working for him.

The course was run at the Village Bakery’s £4 million Baking Academy and Innovation Centre on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

The modern complex is the only one of its kind in the UK and was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

All those taking part in the course, bar one, were already in management positions at the Village Bakery.

The second course is already under way with a further 12 staff selected this time.
Tom was thrilled to be selected to be part of the first cohort to take part in the12-month management course.

He said: “I really enjoyed the course and the best thing is that I’m actually using the skills that we picked up and using them in the workplace.

“The modules were tailored for what the business needed, so that was the best thing about it. I feel very proud to be among the first graduates.

“I started out with the Village bakery as an apprentice. I moved to the Wrexham site when it first opened I’ve landed my dream job as the bakery manager in Minera.

“It’s been quite a journey, When I started out at 16 as an apprentice I never imagined I could achieve what I have.

“It was only three years ago that I was appointed shift manager, and it’s just been very rapid.

“The Village Bakery is growing really quickly, and I am one of the people who’ve been given the opportunity to grow and develop with the business.

“Luckily for me, I was in the right place in the right time because the Village Bakery reward people who have the right attitude.

“I’m really thrilled with what’s happening. I’m 13 years in and I can’t see myself leaving. I’m very happy here. It’s a fantastic company to work for.”

Village Bakery Managing Director Robin Jones said: “We prefer to recruit from within because they understand the culture, and we want to reward their hard work.

“This is why we have invested so much in our Baking Academy and Innovation Centre. People thought we were crazy to invest such a huge amount but we are reaping the rewards now.

“It’s about people like Tom Breeze. He joined us when he was 16 years old and his mum used to work for us and she got him the job.

“Like the others, he has shone and we are very proud that he is now the bakery manager at Minera.

“If you cut Tom in half he’d be like a stick of rock because it would read the Village Bakery.”