Wigan confectionery wiz launches mobile training academy

Andy Baxendale
Andy Baxendale

Wigan confectionery wiz Andy Baxendale has launched a mobile training academy to preserve the art of sweet-making and offer help to manufacturers.

The move is aimed at meeting demand for staff to be trained in the many aspects of confectionery production on-site rather than attending courses at college or university.

Mr Baxendale, former product development manager for Chewits, said that unless the skills were passed on to a new generation they could be lost forever.

One of the first companies to benefit from the mobile academy is JPL Flavour Technologies, based in Neston near Liverpool.

The firm specialises in flavours for vapes, food and beverages and Mr Baxendale was recruited to train staff in confectionery manufacture so they can demonstrate their own flavours to customers.

He said: “The British love their sweets but we have to be careful that a lot of the skills and the craft of making great sweets aren’t lost.”

“We need to support and train a new generation of sweet makers. Launching a mobile academy is a way of taking the training directly into the workplace so that staff can hit the ground running and utilise their new skills immediately.”

Following their training, staff at JPL Flavour Technologies are able to show customers their flavours in application.

Andy said: “Now, if they get an enquiry for chewy sweets, they can show customers what a similar product would look and taste like.

“The training involved the manufacture of a range of products, such as hard boiled sweets, butterscotch, toffee, fudge, gummies, jellies, marshmallow and chews and a wide variety of flavours.”