Matthew Thorpe

WorldSkills History:

  • Regional Competition 2009: Gold
  • National Competition 2010: Gold

About me

I have always enjoyed baking at home, so when an opportunity arose to do a school-based traineeship in baking I leapt at the opportunity. At the end of 2007 I found a full-time apprenticeship at a local bakery through TAFE South Australia.

In the short term I hope to return to TAFE South Australia and gain the next Certificate in Patisserie in order to further my experience and knowledge. I also aim to work in an artisan bread bakery so that I can increase my practical skills in this area.

Long term, I want to have my own artisan bakery which focuses on training and developing the skills of future bakers and pastry chefs.  I want to educate others about baking so that they are able to better understand and appreciate the process and quality of what is produced. To get to this point in my career I will have to develop my own skills and knowledge both as a baker and as a teacher. Over time I hope to learn how to both operate a business and effectively manage others.

What I enjoy most about retail bakery

When baking I enjoy using my hands to turn basic ingredients into beautiful breads, cakes or pastries. I love being able to share my creations with others and I especially enjoy imparting some of my knowledge of baking with those interested in the trade.

How has WorldSkills Australia helped me?

During training for WorldSkills Australia National Competition I discovered an area of the baking industry I was unaware of, Artisan breads. Since then my focus has been on learning and developing my skills and knowledge in this area.

Through winning Gold at the National Competition I have been able to meet new people in the industry and have been given opportunities to further develop my skills through prestigious industry run competitions and scholarships. WorldSkills has given me direction in my industry as well as personal recognition.  This is important as I am someone who is keen to constantly improve my abilities and skills.

Work Experience in the UK

My goal is to diversify my knowledge and experiences in baking. Some of the areas I would like to gain experience are artisan breads, formal training schools, cake and pastry making and other speciality areas of patisserie such as chocolate and sugar work.  I am excited about getting international bread making experience.

My aim in doing work experience overseas is to learn new skills and baking methods I have not yet learnt from my experiences and training here in Australia. One great aspect of baking is that all over the world bakers use predominantly the same basic ingredients, however each baker can produce different results through using their own unique techniques and methods which give each region and country their own speciality creation.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet, observe and learn from bakers with various backgrounds and experiences, training and approaches to baking.  Further to that I hope to bring these skills back to Australia to improve the skills of future bakers.