A Place for Budding Talent
Words by Hoe Ziqian

Founder and owner Lim Her-Yi started Bud of Joy, a wholly local employee run bakery, with a mission to provide a range of clean and organic food solutions to the masses. Through his unrelenting pursuit, what was once impossible commercially is now a reality and that reality is delicious, fresh, and satisfying bakes that are good for your health.

Chef Lim Her-Yi, founder and owner of Bud of Joy Organic Bakery and Store. (Image courtesy of Bud of Joy)

When he first started out, Lim faced the usual challenges of a small business owner, with the most common being the shortage of manpower. It was a constant struggle to find and recruit good local employees and there were financial limitations on the amount of training that can be provided to these employees.

Chef Lim Her-Yi puts an apprentice through the paces at his bakery. (Image courtesy of Bud of Joy)

The solution to Lim’s manpower challenges was introduced to him at an Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) networking session. Known previously as the Place-and-Train Program, the Career Conversion Program (CCP)is essentially a conversion program targeted at mid-career switchers. The main objective is to enable employees to undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors with better prospects and opportunities for progression. Trainees will undergo structured on-the-job training to ease their transit into the new role.

Partnering with the experienced team members at e2i, it was an easy decision for Lim to adopt the CCP for Bud of Joy. One of the beneficiaries of the CCP is Jesse Kum Thong. Like many workers in service-related industries, Jesse lost his job as a hair stylist during COVID-19.

Given the situation, Jesse made the decision to take the path less travelled and become a baker at Bud of Joy. As part of his onboarding, Jesse was sent to a foundation course at Creative Culinaire, an established local baking academy, to help jump start his knowledge of baking.

The course covered all the essentials of baking, starting from learning how to make bread dough to useful tips on how to monitor and troubleshoot the baking process. For a beginner like Jesse, this was exactly what he needed.

Jesse Kum Thong, previously a hair stylist turned baker at Bud of Joy. (Image courtesy of Bud of Joy)

Back at his post in Bud of Joy, Jesse was then able to build on the basic skills that he had learnt and put them into practice under the watchful eyes of Lim, who is both his boss and mentor.

Jesse is grateful for the faith that Lim has shown in him. He shared, “Chef Her-Yi will always let me know what went wrong and what to take note of.”

Similar to his colleague Jesse, Lau Wen Bin was also from the service industry. He used to work in a cinema but found the job to be too mundane and decided to step up to a new challenge. Lau attributes the chance to learn new skills as an important factor in his decision.

Lau Wen Bin traded the cinema ticketing counter for a baker station at Bud of Joy as an assistant baker. (Image courtesy of Bud of Joy)

With no prior baking experience, Lau was also trained at Creative Culinaire to ensure he starts off on the right footing. He thoroughly enjoyed the one-week stint and was particularly proud to have baked his first sourdough loaf.

Lim, who is also a mentor to his bakers, appreciates the training given to his aspiring new employees as Bud of Joy is an artisan bakery and all bakers need to make dough by hand and from scratch. Lim also feels that the CCP is a step in the right direction for small business owners.

While there will always be challenges in finding the right talent from the large pool of job seekers under the CCP talent pool, the funding support has gone a long way to help Bud of Joy prime its new employees for their new role as bakers.

With the ability to nurture new talents in his workforce, Lim is hopeful that the initiative will bring value to Bud of Joy in the long run.

To find out more about Bud of Joy, please visit: 

Website https://budofjoy.com/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/budofjoy/?hl=en

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/budofjoy/ 

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