Certificate III in Retail Baking (Bread)

The unplanned perfect career

Brendon Woodward started off with no grand design in life other than to get a job when he finished Year 12 and ‘see what happened’. ‘What happened’ was the unfolding of a highly successful career: after completing his apprenticeship with a local bakery, Brendon subsequently won a WorldSkills Gold Medal and a major scholarship to further his studies overseas.

“Once I finished High School I set about looking for a job with no particular career in mind,” said Brendon. “When a job came up at a local bakery in Brisbane I applied, and was offered an apprenticeship. I wasn’t sure how I would go but it has turned out to be the perfect job for me.”

Brendon also turned out to be the perfect man for the job. Following in the footsteps of his boss at the Bakeologists in Brisbane, Brendon tried his hand in a number of competitions. He emerged as runner up in the L A Judge Competition in 2014, the most prestigious award for apprentice bakers in Australia and New Zealand, and the Bake Skills National Competition, where in both 2015 and 2016 his team came second and he was named Bread Champion.

But clearly Brendon was saving his best till last. At the ‘competition to end all competitions’, the WorldSkills 2016 National Competition in Melbourne, Brendon decisively emerged the best in his trade, earning a Gold Medal for Retail Bakery. “I was just so relieved not to come second again,” said Brendon. “The competition challenged me to the limit, and it was doubly tricky because the environmental conditions for baking in Melbourne were so different from those back home.”

Brendon’s competition success has helped to open many doors for him, including his selection following his WorldSkills win to take part in the BBM Youth Support for Skilled Futures Scholarship to further his training and professional development overseas.

“It’s very exciting. I’ll be going to the UK and then France and Belgium, learning different techniques and seeing how things work overseas,” said Brendon. “They’re pretty proud of me back at my workplace. The pay-off for them will be when I come back with new improved techniques and fresh ideas.”

And the pay-off for Brendon is that his unplanned pathway has turned into a lifelong career. “When I come back I’ve been promised a role in charge of bread production as the Bakeologists expands. And a bit further down the track I’d like to be a head baker managing a team. Although I haven’t been much of a one for grand designs, I’m pretty excited for the future and really pleased with where my apprenticeship has landed me. There are so many opportunities, I’m just going to keep an open mind and see what avenues open up as my career progresses.”

If you are interested in an Australian Apprenticeship and how to get started, download An Australian Apprenticeship - Endless Career Possibilities brochure or contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

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