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Second cohort of culinary apprentices embark on Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Forward with Marcus Wareing programme


The second cohort of up-and-coming Compass Group UK & Ireland chefs have started their journey on the ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ programme, building on the success of the first group who have focused on subjects including sustainability, commerciality, people, and skills.

‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ is an enhanced programme, which runs alongside a Level 4 Senior Culinary Chef or Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager apprenticeship standard - delivered in partnership with national hospitality training provider, HIT Training. The best-in-class apprenticeship equips chefs with exceptional culinary skills and is brought to life through extracurricular enrichment activities, delivering practical experiences to the group.

Originally launching in August 2021, the first cohort celebrated their learnings to date late last year at the luxurious 5-star hotel, The Grove in Hertfordshire. The 14-strong team created a 7-course menu, with sustainability at its core, taking learnings from the course to wow guests and demonstrate their enhanced skills and cooking techniques. Inspiration came from foraging, preserving, plant-based influences and nose-to-tail cooking - to ensure minimal food waste and support sustainable practices.

The evolution and progression of the programme means the first cohort of graduates will go on to mentor the new group of chefs by offering support and advice to enhance their learning. In addition, Compass has gathered feedback from the original group, HIT, Marcus and external climate advisors to develop specific training modules, that further align with Compass’ 2030 Climate Net Zero goal and Roadmap.

Marcus Wareing said: “It is clear to see this programme is rich in learnings and experiences. It is a unique approach, that takes candidates to another level in their career - with a focus on being forward thinking and developing for the long term with sustainability at its heart. It has been an absolute pleasure to see our first cohort grow in terms of knowledge, skills, confidence and personally - I am looking forward to working closely with the second cohort, as we further enhance and tailor the course.” 

Jonathon Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Our culinary teams will be central to the success of delivering Climate Net Zero by 2030 - with 80% of our carbon footprint attributable to food - so the further development of our talent in this area is crucial. Therefore, we have continued to develop the programme and the sustainability work in particular.

‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ has exceeded all our expectations and the launch of our second cohort demonstrates the continued support and commitment by Compass to deliver this cutting-edge culinary training. I am very proud of what we have achieved and look forward to seeing the new group progress too.”

Fern Mansfield, Head Chef for a Levy UK+I site and a cohort two candidate commented: “I am excited to be part of such a sought-after programme and am looking forward to working with some of the top chefs in our business. I always strive to expand my knowledge of food and to constantly improve as both a chef and mentor, so this is a perfect opportunity for me.”

Forward with Marcus Wareing, Second Cohort