Why Butter & Olive?
Top Tips On Picking The Right Baking Academy In Malaysia
You love baking and pastry art, and you want to build your career on it. Congrats! Knowing what you want is half the battle won. The next stage may not be as simple as it looks; that is, to pick the right baking academy to help you carve your career path.
There is quite a number to choose from; some established, some new. Some claim to offer the same diploma course as the established schools or that they have a tie-up with foreign baking schools. So it doesn’t matter which we pick, right? Not true. They may not be what they claim to be. You need to know exactly what you’re getting before you sign up
To help you avoid costly errors, and to ensure you have the best education for your money, here are four important tips on what questions to ask and what options are available.
Tip #1: Can your baking diploma open doors to working overseas?
Some baking schools claim to have tie-ups with foreign baking academies. They may use the foreign academy’s teaching methodology and syllabus, and offer a diploma or certificate from a foreign institution. But here’s the catch: your baking certificate or diploma may not qualify you to work overseas because it is not widely recognized. Always go for qualifications that even employers overseas will accept.
Butter & Olive College, for instance, is accredited as a Malaysian training centre for the Australian TVET in baking. Although it offers a baking course leading to the Professional Diploma in Patisserie and Practice, students can now also be assessed for Certificate III in Food Processing (Baking), which is issued by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).
Holders of the ASQA certificate can work in Australia and in many other countries and can also further their TVET education Down Under. This pathway opens up many possibilities for career growth.
Tip #2: Is your academy recognized as a skills-training centre?
If you’re going spend money to learn a skill, it makes sense for you to invest it in an academy that is recognized as an approved training centre by the Skills Development Department of Malaysia’s Human Resource Ministry. This allows the academy to offer the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) courses. To get such a recognition, the academy must be vetted to ensure its lecturers are qualified and that it has all the equipment necessary.
As an industry leader, Butter & Olive College has been an approved centre since 2012. Among others, this means it can help students apply for study loans from the government for its courses. On top of that, it also offers scholarships to needy students as its contribution to society.
Tip #3: Is your internship an excuse for cheap labour?
All trainee bakers will have to intern with a commercial bakery, or hotel pastry department to put into practice what they had learnt. Baking academies make deals with bakeries to take in their students, but have no say on how they are actually trained. Some may end up doing a lot of menial tasks like sweeping the floor and cleaning oily containers, and little baking.
To be effective, an internship should be an extension of the classroom training, so that there is continuous learning. Butter & Olive College is the only academy that sends its students to its own chain of 16 bakery outlets throughout Malaysia for training. As a bonus, students can choose outlets closer to their hometowns. Its trainers are also stationed at these bakeries, so there is actual hands-on teaching. Some students have become partners in these bakeries.
Tip #4: Be versatile; don’t be hung up on one school of baking
A good baking school will teach you to be versatile and innovative, so that you can easily adapt to different communities and taste-buds. For some years now, many students seem to have taken an interest in the Taiwanese baking techniques, which stress on healthy ingredients. And several schools are offering the Taiwan diploma in patisserie and baking.
But the danger is relying too much on one school of baking. Although Taiwanese bakeries were the rage in recent years, it should be noted that some have since closed down, for reasons that are not immediately clear.
Although Butter & Olive Baking College was the pioneer in offering the Taiwan diploma course, it also teaches its students many other techniques, and more importantly, how to innovate. This produces thinking students who know how to bake breads and cakes that will appeal to different communities. Consumers change their taste over time, and students must adapt or fail.
Note: Established in 2010, Butter & Olive College of Baking and Culinary Arts Malaysia offers full-time baking and culinary art courses at its premises in Puchong, Kuching, Johor Bahru and Penang. It is the only baking academy in Malaysia that owns a chain of 16 bakery outlets, some in partnership with its students. For more information, visit butterolive.edu.my or https://www.facebook.com/butterolivecollege/