Attracting apprentices

I have no doubt there are plenty out there struggling to recruit apprentices.  Particularly 1st years.  Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can entice someone with the enthusiasm and the work ethic to remain to our bakery in Albion (Brisbane, Qld, Australia).  In fact once I find the people I know I could entice them.  Tell me - where should I be looking because the usual methods of newspaper and online ads are just not working.  Age doesn't concern me in the slightest and I'm even happy to recruit mature aged apprentices.  We do mainly sourdoughs and organic products with some sweet treats like croissants from scratch including sourdough croissants.  Perhaps someone out there knows someone who might be interested?


So are you willing to pay Airfare as an enticement?

So howabout an unhappy American Starbucks Barista!   He would really love to check out that part of the world.  He likes the Vancouver area of Canada but hasn't figured out how to stay there yet.  My son is interested in baking and he is a dedicated foodie and Photonerd!    His experience in bread is limited to english muffins and a couple of barm breads and vegan muffins.  His favorite stores all involve Organic foods.

I'll let him know if you are interested.  He would have to stick around for a bit to earn enough to make it back home.


You really are what you eat, so eat wisely...

You will of course forgive me for saying I wouldn't pay airfares.  Paying for someone to come over here and then having them disappear into the yonder would not be a particularly wise business move.

What I can however offer is that if he can get to Brisbane, Australia having obtained the appropriate working visa first I will collect him from the airport and give him two weeks free accomodation in return for beginning work within a day or two to allow for jetlag.

He will receive standard award rates for apprentice bakers.  The apprenticeship will last 3 years with a pay increase annually and formal training at techinical college.  At the end he will have an internationally recognised trade qualification.

If he wishes to stay on I can offer him continued use of the room (with it's own bathroom) as well as food and transport to and from work for 50% of his wage.  That may seem steep but if he were to attempt to get share housing elsewhere and pay for his bills and meals he would likely not have anything left over.  Of course at anytime he wished to live elsewhere he'd be welcome to do so at his own cost.

He must be strong enough to lift 25kg (55lbs) easily and frequently and not be afraid of getting dirty.  Even as a qualified and the baker in charge I still spend about 40% of my time cleaning.  Perhaps if I could have your and your son's email adresses we can converse further on the topic?


Be's reply, as hard as it may sound, is realistic for a potential worker with no or very little baking experience. Qualified bakers generally have to pay their own way too, and in many cases employment is not guaranteed until a trial period (1-3 months) has been completed.

I have helped several bakers gain work in Australia. Millciti, another option is for your son to gain 6 months experience in the U.S first, and then travel to Australia as a semi-skilled baker's assistant. The starting wage would probably be higher, making living easier and more sustainable. The best bakeries to gain experience at are usually small bakeries with a very 'hands-on' baking practice.

Good luck.
I think Be's offer is very fair.  I agree with you both so I will pass on this advice and see if he does something with it.  He did get to work for a little while at a local specialty market in the kitchen and bakery, but at the time they weren't baking their own breads - only quickbreads, cakes etc.  

So he knows it to be hard work, it was one of his first jobs.  It would be a excellent idea for him to spend more time doing the actual job of baking breads.  At least before flying more than halfway around the world to commit to an apprenticeship.  I served in the Navy for 8 years so I really understand that.  You couldn't quit when you really wanted to, only when your commitment was over.


You really are what you eat, so eat wisely...

Hi Be I just read your post, My names Michelle Ludecke. I am currently in New Zealand but am relocating to Brisbane Australia(at the end of next week)as there are no apprentice baker postions in my country. I am 26yrs old and am very reliable and trustworthy. Im into a a natural style of life, organic gardening is a big interest of mine. I really want to get into a Bakery that is truly passionate about its products. I want to learn from the best so I can be the best, I know that sounds corny but I the last bakery I worked at had very low standards and I want to learn things the right way from the beginning!

I hope you will consider me for the position you can contact me on     file://C:/Users/dseman/AppData/Local/Temp/Low/__SkypeIEToolbar_Cache/e70...)">           +64 210 236 5415         or via e-mail
Thanks everyone who contributed.  I'm sure you'll all be pleased to know Michelle will be starting with us next week after she moves on the weekend to Brisbane.  We'll both be sure to keep you updated on her progress.

Hi there,

I am too seeking an apprentice in his/her 2nd or 3rd year for a brand new bakery on the Northside of Brisbane near Redcliffe.  Has anybody got any recommendations?



I wish you all the best in your search Tarnya.  We're still looking.  Things fell apart with Michelle before she even got started.  I must admit to being baffled so many potential apprentices out there expect to be paid the same as qualified staff.  What ever happened to earning your way from the bottom up?  It is not that I am adverse to paying above award wages but the fact remains an apprentice is still not worth the same as a qualified member of the team (in most cases).

My friend in the UK is looking to move to Australia and is very keen to learn the Bakery trade as a mature apprentice or even as an assistant.


He is aware of initial low wages and would contribute to any costs associated with obtaining sponsorship from a bakery for visas etc.


He is ideally looking at Melbourne but would go to most other places. (paying all airfares etc)


Does anyone have any advice for this ?



Hi, Ive just joined up after finding this great site.

I am dead keen to start a career as a Artisan Baker! I am a qualified chef who has been out of the industry for some years and looking to start fresh learning how to make quality breads. My passion was forged when I assisted the bakers at 29 High St, Brisbane, making great sourdough's some 15 yrs ago.

I am 35yrs old, married with kids, and hope that is no deterant for employers as I have proved to be a quality worker over the years. I am residing in Brisbane; however, would prefer a smaller town/city in QLD.

I have not done a prevoc course as a baker, but hope my maturity and experience as a chef will make up for that.

I am keen for any expressions of intrest in taking me on or advice on how to better my chances in gaining employment in an artisan bakery. Thanks.

A Russian group of restaurants is looking for an experienced baker to set up its bread bakery in Moscow. The bakery would produce a range of sourdough products. This is 1-2 month project and will include getting equipment, sourcing ingredients, finalizing products and staff training. Good payment guaranteed!


Is there much demand for skilled bakers in Australia? Or only to students?
Greets, from the Netherlands


I have been looking at changing direction and career for some time. I have a passion for baking bread and pastry, I always have. I am looking for a bakery to give me a go as a mature age apprentice. You would not be disappointed, I have a high work ethic and would be dedicated and committed. I would be more than willing to start on normal apprentice wages. 
I would be looking at all areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba. I am able to send you my resume, or you are able to contact me on 04 666 488 93 or email
Look forward to any reply's.

 i have been working in the same bakery for 5 years now and i know what you mean by good apprentice  most of them are hope less and are only doing it because they couldn't get a job anywhere else, any way I'm getting bored of retail bread and keen to get into the artesian side I've been talking about it since i signed up, know any good bakers to goto ?

 cherrs :)

I am just starting out in the industry, I will complete my cert 3 in retail baking at the end of November. So far I have tried contacting numerous bakeries trying to secure a job when my course is completed. Not one of them have gotten back to me. How is the cert 3 viewed in the industry? Should I not have bothered and just have tried to get an apprentichip

For those of you looking for a interested apprentice, contact me. The guy I am thinking of is about 55. He has spent some time in the USA. Is fit and does not look as old as 55. I think he practices Thi Chi. His English is fine and he also has skills in managing a small cafe and is good with the customers. As far as I know he has no ties.

He came to work with me for 30 days whilst waiting to start a catering course. He not only looks and dresses the part, but he does not stop working and is constantly cleaning as he goes. He is not trained as a baker but has kitchen skills. He really want to be an Artisan Baker but all he can get in his present location are jobs that consist of brushing pastries with egg-wash for most of the day.

If interested let me know and I will pass you on to him. He will be quite prepared to make his own way to Austrlia.


Martin Prior


We are looking for a competant person in a retail Artisan Bakery in Orange NSW. Happy to train if the aptitude is right. Your description sounds good and his maturity is of appeal. Would welcome his contact through here if you can arrange it.

Thanks for posting this.


Martin I love this post. You have got us all doing a double-take here. Tell us more...

PM me and I will send his email or have him contact you direct.



I would love to get an apprenticeship in a bakery! Does anyone know where I should start? I am currently at university in NZ but am hoping to move to Sydney within the next year. 

I am really passionate about making bread and working in an artisan bakery sounds fantastic. I am quite certain that I am romanticising this but I understand the early hours and hard work and I am sure I can handle it. 

What I am unsure of is how to go about getting an apprenticeship. Is it a matter of approaching different bakeries? I'd appreciate any tips!

Many thanks,



I work as a Cook, however I want to become a Baker I know I will start at the bottom and have no delusions of being anything other than the new boy, I am looking to start an Apprentice or Traineeship when I get to Australia (currently applying for a permanent residents visa) Heres the thing Im no spring chicken im nearly 40 so if any Aussies on here could give me some pointers I would be Very grateful.

I currently work in a place where bakery produce is made by the Cooks we make fresh rolls and loafs daily around 150 rolls and four 2 pound loafs) using freshly made dough made by hand, it is mixed in a machine though!!   we also make fresh pizza breads, nan breads, pastries, pie, quiche and pasty fillings along with whatever sweets are on the menu i.e. sponges or biscuits / cookies. Keeping the place spotless is also part of the job.

So here's what I am wondering would my skillset give me enough edge to secure a Baking Apprenticeship down under?

I have a good work ethic, used to early starts and long hours and  never off sick, Im healthy and humping sacks of flour around isn't an issue & I know I will start on a low income.

Ideally I would like to train with a Baker who has knowledge of Artisan breads Im not interested in anything packet related.

at present it's uncertain where we will live in australia as that depends on where my Wife will find work first although Queensland may be a possibility.

theres a few things im unsure of

do apprentices pay for college.

will the employer employ me directly or via a training instution.

is the employer likely to employ me when fully trained or cut me free to seek work elsewhere.


Iam open to suggestions, anyone have any suggestions on best routes into the Industry.