Tom Baker has joined both his parents and older brother Harry at Baker Labels in a new role leading the development of Bakers Academy.
Bakers Self Adhesive Labels Co Ltd has remained a family business since it was established in 1973 by Tom’s grandparents Roy and Marian Baker, so it’s with a great deal of pride we welcome 22 year old Tom to the company.
Although Tom has only been here a couple of months he has already made a massive difference to the future workings of the business. We have been talking about the idea of a training academy for Bakers for several years but Tom has been able to take that idea and get things rolling. This will now develop at a fast pace over the next few months which will have a real positive effect on everyone in the company, not just new recruits, to enable us to have a far more knowledgeable, flexible workforce which is vital to our ongoing success. Steve Baker, Managing Director
Steve Baker joined his parents straight from school at age 16 and succeeded his father as Managing Director in 2000. Mandy Baker also joined her husband Steve in the family business and has been Finance Manager alongside her current role as Chief Happiness Officer, creator of the Well-being at work program for the last 20 years. Tom joins his engineer graduate older brother Harry, who started at Baker Labels in 2018. Twenty five year old Harry runs operations within BakPac, the new flexible packaging division of Baker Labels.
The boys have never been under any pressure to join the business but it feels really good that they are both here. I genuinely feel that we can go from strength to strength so the Bakers of the future is an exciting prospect and majorly stronger having Harry and Tom on board. Steve Baker
Family has always been at the centre of Baker Labels and has proved to be a successful factor in the business with it going from strength to strength each year.
A family business has a different feel to any other type of business for customers and employees, knowing that there is history, a family story and responsibility ensures you do the right thing. It also means all decisions can be made quickly without having to refer back to head office regardless of if it’s to do with equipment, re-designing the factory or supporting the community, local charities etc. If it’s a good idea it can get done without faffing about on a corporate level! Steve Baker
Interview with Tom Baker
What is your role at Bakers and what do you hope to achieve within it?
I have joined Bakers as the Academy Coordinator, meaning it is my job to build structured content that will help our employees to train and better themselves. With my own technical knowledge being low (for now!) I understand the necessity of extracting the information from Bakers’ experienced and skilled staff. We are hoping for the Academy to use our in-house expertise combined with top-class external sessions to improve the training and development across all parts of the company.
What made you decide to join the family business, had you always planned to or was this a recent decision?
I had always imagined joining Bakers eventually. My initial plan was to try and work in London to gain experience and more skills that I could later bring to Bakers, however, given the current situation this became unlikely. When the opportunity arose to be a leader in the development of the Bakers Academy, I realised how lucky I was to be in this situation and took on the challenge.
Tom, you graduated from Reading University in July 2019 with a First Class Honours degree in Business and Management. How do you feel this prepared you for the real world of business and your role at Bakers?
At university, alongside course knowledge, I gained confidence in my skills and working with others in a team. It also exposed me to many different teaching methods which I have used in developing content for the Academy to make things as effective and interesting as possible.
How have you found working at Bakers so far?
I’m close to completing my third month at Bakers and each one has been better than the last. As my knowledge grows, I’m able to help in more different projects and work with more people around the company. It has been enjoyable to get stuck in and become a bigger part of the business that I’ve always been around!
What are you looking forward to within your time at Bakers?
As the Academy is still in an early stage it is changing and progressing every single day. This makes the development challenging but rewarding; each week we are making the path clearer for how to tackle this beast of a project. I’m excited to see how it will impact Bakers and its employees in the future.
Why is the Academy important to you and Bakers?
The Academy is important to me because it is the first real project I am taking on at Bakers and has the potential to have a big impact on all parts of the business. For Bakers, as a business, the Academy can make us more aligned and adaptable, allowing us to improve our standards and take advantage of new opportunities more quickly. For Bakers’ employees, the Academy could support their progress both in work and personal development.