Like many university students, Rebekah Chatfield found herself at a career cross roads following her graduation from Swansea University.
The 23-year-old from Abertillery discovered that opportunities to build on her Marine Biology degree were limited and she would have to navigate a new direction to start a career.
Having been named the 2019 Apprentice (Level 3) of the Year at the Cambrian Training Awards, Rebekah can now reflect on making her best professional decision to date.
She credits her apprenticeship for turning her hobby as a home baker into an exciting career with Cardiff-based Brød – The Danish Bakery.
“I have always had a passion for baking so this is such a perfect career for me,” said Rebekah. “After completing my degree I struggled to find work in my specialist industry, or in fact any work”
She says the Apprenticeship programme has opened plenty of doors and created a sense of self-belief in her abilities, with her employer and Cambrian Training Company supporting her every step of the way.
“My Apprenticeship programme has not only taught me about baking,” Rebakah added. “It’s taught me the value of perseverance, taking full advantage of any opportunities given to you, and most importantly, if you are passionate about something, there is nothing in the world that can break that drive to succeed.”
With a Level 3 Certificate in Proficiency in Baking Industry Skills already under her belt, Rebekah has targeted a Level 4 Food Manufacturing Excellence qualification with Cambrian Training Company next, whilst also hoping to inspire more females to take up the profession.
“There are not many women in the industry so hopefully winning the Apprenticeship Award sends out a message and more will be encouraged to become artisan bakers,” she said.
Her progress has been praised by her employer who described her decision to embark on an Apprenticeship following a degree as “bold”.
“She has turned what for many would be a barrier into a real opportunity,” said Betina Skovbro, founder of Brød – The Danish Bakery, which is also the Cambrian Training 2019 Small Employer of the Year.
“She has embraced every aspect of her Apprenticeship with great energy, a healthy dose of curiosity and an incredible willingness to learn. ‘Becky’ really has been a model apprentice, and it was the easiest decision of all to offer her a permanent position on completion of her training.”