Promise of living wages for young recruits as local bakery launches campaign to hire school leavers


Parents and guardians are invited with their children to visit a local bakery which has launched a campaign to recruit 16 and 17 year olds.

Award-winning Wrexham-based Jones Village Bakery offers a range of jobs, including 20 apprenticeships – and the promise of real adult pay rates right off the bat, starting at £ 9.50 an hour.

In recent years, the family business has focused on recruiting young people over the age of 18 but says it missed a tip.

Today, the bakery is going back to the future to recruit young workers straight out of school and offer them “fantastic prospects”.

The company has traditionally had a policy of personal growth and most of its bakery managers and supervisors joined the school after completing their education and moving up the career ladder.

Jason Page, Head of Human Resources, said: “We have great career opportunities and we are at least one real salary employer.

“The youngest people who join us – ie 16-17 year olds – start at £ 9.50 an hour rather than the £ 4.60 provided by the national minimum wage.”

Among the recent newbies at Jones Village bakery is 16-year-old Tilly Squire from Wrexham, who has been working in the packaging department since last month.

She said: “What I love about working here is that we are paid the real living wage and not the minimum wage.

“I’m one of the youngest but everyone is really nice and that’s important because I wouldn’t want to work with them if they weren’t nice.

“I work Monday through Friday, so I always entertain on weekends so I can always see my friends. I want to evolve and become hierarchical superior or evolve to become a manager.

Her colleague Tia Roberts, 17, from Wrexham, says she’s setting up well, alongside Tilly as part of the packing team.

She said: “The village bakery does not discriminate against young people – everyone does the same job and is paid the same. This is important because they show respect for young people.

Earlier this year Jones Village Bakery opened a brand new flagship bakery in the industrial area of ​​Wrexham.

The 140,000 square foot facility has been hailed as the most modern in Europe and includes a state-of-the-art Bakery Academy to train the next generation of bakers.

Managing Director Robin Jones said, “We’re a growing company and there are a lot of exciting times ahead, so basically we’re getting back to basics in terms of recruiting.

“We are looking to hire young people straight from school, as we did with Tom Breeze and Jack Davies who joined as young boys and are now bakery managers.

“Jack runs Europe’s most modern gluten-free bakery and Tom is in charge of our family jewels, our bakery in Minera.

“Our policy of personal growth has been the foundation of our success – there are some great kids and I really want to push a professional path.

“If you’re a 16 year old who wants to work we’re going to give you £ 9.50 an hour instead of the £ 4.50 an hour you would get for working in a fast food restaurant.

“We expect people to work hard, but for that we pay young people an appropriate adult salary.

“Joining the Boulangerie du Village directly from school is a realistic option at university by taking the professional route.

“One of the perks is that you don’t have tens of thousands of pounds in debt when you graduate.

“You get a living wage right off the bat and the possibilities for advancing up the career ladder are endless.

“If you want a degree you can always do it by taking evening classes – so we’re a good choice, however you think of it.

“I would invite moms and dads to come take a look with them to see what we are.

“It’s no longer about working long hours and early in the morning. We have the most advanced manufacturing equipment in Europe and an air-conditioned bakery.

“By working alongside Coleg Cambria, we provide excellent training with the possibility of obtaining NVQs.

“You don’t have to go to college to have a great career and both Jack and Tom are proof of that.

“My message to young people looking for a good future is that there are fantastic career prospects here and that they will be treated with respect.

“Yes, it’s hard work, but they can make a lot of dough at the village bakery. “

Anyone wishing more details should send an email to Jones Village Bakery at [email protected]

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