Laurens Patisseries, the chilled cream cakes division of Bakkavör, is to offer free lessons in English and maths to educate its diverse workforce, who speak a staggering 20 different languages.

The Nottinghamshire employer, which provides jobs for almost 2,000 staff and is Europe’s largest manufacturer of chilled cream cakes, has opened a 24/7 learning academy that offers employees tutored lessons in listening, speaking, reading, writing and numeracy during work time.

Also open to native speakers of English, the academy comprises three learning areas: a dedicated tuition room for language learning and key skills development; a self study and open learning room; and a third space for larger workshops and development centres.

The concept of a learning academy was sparked by a trial earlier this year, when 108 employees enrolled on a range of language and skill courses.

“The benefits are already coming through, with employees reporting that they feel more confident following training, and managers seeing improvement in communication and increased staff enthusiasm,” said HR head Caron Brooks.