Compass Group UK & Ireland has gifted £500,000 to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to boost hospitality and professional services apprenticeships for the region, via the Apprenticeship Levy Fund.
The funding will help people gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to enter and progress within the hospitality sector and give West Midlands businesses access to more emerging talent – a vital step in levelling up for the region.
Set up in March 2019, the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund allows large employers to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to SME organisations, to pay for the Apprenticeship Standards to be delivered.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “Hospitality is something of a strong suit for our region. Despite the challenging economic backdrop, there’s still plenty of scope to provide training to the next generation of talented chefs, mixologists, and restaurateurs.
“That’s why it’s great to see Compass Group UK & Ireland supporting this mission by kindly transferring half a million pounds towards our Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund. It’s vital that we support our night-time economy and one way we can do that is by helping local talent to connect with opportunities on offer in hospitality.
“I would encourage employers right across our region to continue to contribute to our Levy Fund and recruit apprentices in the months and years ahead. Together, we can work to ensure Birmingham and the wider West Midlands maintains its position as one of the UK’s most exciting food destinations.”
Cllr George Duggins, portfolio holder for skills and productivity, and leader of Coventry City Council, said: "This generous £500,000 donation from Compass marks a significant step in fortifying the culinary landscape of the West Midlands.
“By channelling support into apprenticeships and professional services courses, we're empowering aspiring chefs and restaurateurs to refine their craft and in turn this will help to invigorate our hospitality sector.
“Having a job changes lives and an apprenticeship is a great way to learn new skills and enter the world of work. It's also great that we can offer some of our businesses full funding to take on and train their future talent.”
The transfer contributes to Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Mission to a Million pledge, which was launched last year and promises to provide support to one million people, from both within and outside the organisation, by 2030. It aims to enhance opportunities and change lives through job creation, education, training, community, and charitable engagement.
Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland: “We are committed to investing in and developing talent - creating opportunities for all.
“We are so pleased to be supporting the West Midlands Combined Authority, with this significant transfer of Apprenticeship Levy Funding. As a large organisation, we have a responsibility to give back to the communities we operate in, and in the West Midlands we want to be able to support SME organisations and local people.
“This will help our existing work in the area and enhance our plans to open Compass’ Regional Community Skills & Learning Hub in Edgbaston, which is due to open early next year.”