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Baker's dozen

There's nothing better than getting your hands in the dough, and experiencing the work-a-day world of a baker and all the challenges surrounding this trade

The Bread and Butter Project is a great initiative with the goal of training and providing employment opportunities for the disadvantaged. As a registered charity, all profits are reinvested so the overall goals are met. What a fantastic way to not only provide training and skills to those who need help and support, but also to create some delicious bread products at the same time.

The bread and butter project recruits 12 trainees per year. This lucky dozen then spends the 12 months working on the job and participating in an accredited traineeship program through TAFE NSW. And we don't have to tell anyone about the great training provided by the teachers at TAFE colleges in NSW.

Prospective trainees are typically referred by an agency, such as the Migrant Resource Centre and Refugee Support Services. After information sessions at the bakery, suitable candidates are invited to a one-day trial, with the possibility of being invited to a subsequent one-week trial, after which places will be offered.

All 12 selected trainees are fully paid and learn valuable new skills as they work alongside qualified bakers. And this isn't a simulated kitchen environment – it's the real deal! There's nothing better than getting your hands in the dough, and experiencing the work-a-day world of a baker and all the challenges surrounding this trade.

Funding for the Bread and Butter Project comes from a range of sources. This includes families, corporate foundations, individuals, church groups and the Federal Government's Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The artisan breads are sold to restaurants, cafes, caterers and boutique supermarkets. This revenue is the mainstay of the income generated to keep the project going.

As the project grows it's always looking for more volunteers and there are a number of ways people can assist. English language support, tutoring and market stall volunteers are highly sought after. Tax-deductible donations are always welcome too.

If your taste buds are inspired, you can purchase The Bread and Butter Project's bread products at various locations across Sydney including markets and retailers.

So look out when you next go shopping. Your bread purchases could be helping to support marginalised people who really need a break in life.