Hospitality Apprenticeship Week - Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships & Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland
It’s Hospitality Apprenticeship Week! This year’s event provides an opportunity to celebrate apprenticeships in the sector and bring the whole hospitality community together to showcase the unique and diverse career pathways on offer.
Led by Springboard, the week will challenge the misconceptions linked to careers in hospitality and promote that working in hospitality is ‘#MoreThanAJob’. At Compass, we will be taking the opportunity to shine a light on our apprentices.
I am very proud that we now have 600 apprentices on our programmes or commencing their apprenticeship. Our offer continues to evolve and ranges from a Level 2 up to Degree level 6 and 7, which means that people can take on an apprenticeship at various stages in their career, depending on their role and experience.
Culinary ambassadors supporting our talent
Our work with high-profile chefs who act as our Culinary Ambassadors has continued and they do a brilliant job of inspiring apprentices across our business, as well as passing on a wealth of knowledge and experience. Some of our level 2 and Level 3 Culinary Workshops are delivered by Bryn Williams across England and Compass Cymru; Stevie McLaughlin supports within Compass Scotland, running workshops and providing a secondment opportunity for some of our apprentice chefs; and Dipna Anand has been training in Culture of Foods workshops.
Forward with Marcus Wareing continues to evolve
This brings me on nicely to our Forward with Marcus Wareing programme. All of the chefs within our first cohort who have completed their Senior Culinary Level 4 Apprenticeship have achieved a distinction grade, which is a measure of the impact the quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment has throughout the programme. The second cohort, started earlier this year and are mid-way through their journey and the personal and skills development of this cohort has been phenomenal. We are now launching cohort three of this prestigious programme, so that another 15 of our top culinary talent can kick off this new element of their journey.
Partnerships and awards
Earlier this year, we became patrons of the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance, which provides resources, guidance and opportunities and empowers individuals from under-represented backgrounds to access meaningful career paths. I was also thrilled to be invited to join the Apprenticeship Hospitality Scotland Board too.
Our teams are also working hard on the development of the Regional Community Skills and Learning Hub at Edgbaston, which will launch early next year. This project will support people from local communities into employment and onto an apprenticeship whether that be with Compass or other large companies or SMEs within the West Midlands Combined Authority. We recently gifted £500k of apprenticeship funding to support hospitality SMEs across the authority, so we are committed to supporting in this area.
It has been great to be acknowledged for our work externally with awards so far including the Diversity & Inclusion Employer of The Year for the second year in a row at the IOH 85th Annual Awards and Dinner; Jodie Plummer was named Apprentice Chef of The Year at The HIT Hero Awards and they also named us Large Employer of The Year for the second year in a row.
Last week, our Apprentice Chef of The Year Competition 2023 culminated with Jess Miller, Apprentice Chef de Partie, within Chartwells Independent, being crowned Apprentice Chef of The Year. It’s always a fantastic event and way to celebrate our talented people. I am now looking forward to the winning menu being cooked by them at our Annual Apprentice Chef of the Year dinner on the 17th October.
Please keep your eyes peeled this week for more exciting news on apprenticeships, as we celebrate them throughout the week. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you and well done to everyone in our business, who has taken on an apprenticeship – you all work so hard to achieve your goals. To anyone considering a career or looking at how they can develop further in this industry, there are so many training opportunities as part of Compass’ Our Social Promise and I really would encourage you to choose a pathway that suits you.