Job prospects in this career are rated LIMITED because:
Over the last few years, the number of bakers has risen slightly. This number remained fairly stable in food stores, but decreased was in the bakery products manufacturing industry and in food services. This slight downward trend in employment should continue over the next few years.
Job opportunities will result primarily from the need to replace bakers who will be retiring. Job opportunities will also arise from the need to replace bakers who leave this occupation for other food-related occupations such as cooks (NOC 6242) or jobs in other fields, or because they have been promoted to chefs (NOC 6241) or to management positions in the food business, food production or food and beverage industry, or to open up their own bakery or pastry shop (NOC 0621).
People can also advance their careers somewhat within this occupation by moving from baker or pastry cook to pastry chef, for example, or to a supervisory position.
Jobs will be accessible to a large number of candidates. First of all, students seeking part-time, evening or weekend work represent a large pool for some of the job opportunities, especially for jobs in food stores. Young people with limited schooling can also access jobs in this occupation by learning the trade from an experienced baker or by taking on-the-job training. Another share of the jobs can be filled by candidates from among the large number of unemployed bakers with experience.
Employment growth in this occupation depends primarily on consumer habits and the introduction of new technologies. These factors encourage employment in food stores and discourage it in the bakery products manufacturing industry.
On the consumer side, the bakery sector is affected by a few trends that have a direct impact on the employment level in this specialty. First, the strong rise in demand for so-called specialty breads (pita, bagels, tortillas, croissants, etc.) and the drop in demand for sliced bread explains a large part of the sharp increase in the number of bakers in food stores, primarily in neighbourhood bakeries. Furthermore, the number of businesses that are setting up bakeries is continuing to rise. Bakery services have thus been introduced in most supermarkets, and even in many convenience stores, butchers, and fruit and grocery stores. This trend has had a slight positive effect on the hiring of bakers in these businesses, especially as sales clerks (NOC 6421) and grocery clerks (NOC 6622). In fact, the growing popularity of precooked frozen pastry has greatly simplified preparation while maintaining the freshness of bakery products. Consequently, on-site baking requires only a few skilled workers, such as bakers.
Moreover, the new technologies have had a major impact on the bakery products manufacturing industry. The growing use of automated machinery has resulted in a steep drop in the number of bakers in this industry. Data from Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey show that the percentage of bakers/pastry chefs working in the food manufacturing industry has decreased sharply in recent years, whereas the percentage working in retail trade is up, although the number is relatively stable in that industry. Since most of the impact of these trends is behind us, the trends should continue to influence change in employment in this occupation, but to a far less extent than in the past.
In addition to mastering the techniques of this specialty (kneading, blending, moulding, product storage and presentation, etc), candidates must have a good sense of smell and good manual and finger dexterity. Organizational skills, creativity, good powers of observation, attention to detail and the ability to work on a team are the main qualities desired. In food stores, bilingualism is often required and is an asset in any case.
Considering these trends as a whole, the number of bakers/pastry chefs is expected to decrease slightly in the food manufacturing and food service industry in the next few years, but should remain fairly steady in food stores.
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Job prospects for this career are rated Limited