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22nd October 2021

Compass Group launches industry academy to train next generation

Written by: Edward Waddell
The world’s largest food and support services provider Compass Group has launched a multi-million flagship training and development hub in the West Midlands to train the next generation of hospitality workers.

The state of the art physical and online hub is due to open in 2023 and it will train people in a range of disciplines, including hospitality, culinary and services, amid talent shortages across the industry.

Being right at the centre of the UK, the Academy will target people in the UK’s ‘cold spots’, the parts of the country with the lowest prospects in education and employment, to provide an opportunity to enter the world of work and develop a fulfilling career.

Robin Mills, managing director for Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “I am delighted to have launched our Compass Group Academy, it is a really important step in our commitment to create opportunity for all, whatever someone’s background.

“Compass is uniquely placed as a business to do this; our reach extends across the country and we have a genuine ability to create opportunities in the places that need them most. Our Academy will help address the skills crisis the industry faces but will also help people in the most disadvantaged areas get on that crucial first rung on the ladder.”

From early next year, Compass will begin measuring the social-economic background of its 40,000 employees, with the view to provide the support to help colleagues from all backgrounds progress and grow careers in the business.

To ensure the Academy achieves Compass’ goal of improving social mobility in the UK, the food and support services provider has appointed Chris Moore as its managing director.

Moore added: “Overseeing the creation, development and operation of this centre for excellence is really exciting. This is a hugely ambitious project that will really drive social mobility as well as bring great benefits to the hospitality sector. The social outreach ambitions coupled with learning excellence are what will make the Compass academy unique.”

The Academy will aim to train over 12,000 people a year. As well as training its own employees, a fifth of the academy will be dedicated to outreach. This will include:

  • Schools engagement - educating and inspiring students from socio-economically challenged and diverse communities in the West Midlands.
  • Working with disadvantaged groups - expanding Compass' work with partner organisations such as The Springboard Charity, The Clink, The Prince’s Trust, and National Care Covenant to help people into real jobs and careers.
  • Attracting young people into the industry - supporting post-Covid initiatives such as traineeships and kickstart programmes by giving the younger generation opportunities to gain the skills they require.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, commented: “It’s exciting to see the opportunities that the Compass Academy will create for people and I am delighted to see Compass aligning its social mobility commitments with its sustainability goals, a challenge that the industry as a whole has to swiftly address.

“The talent that comes through the Academy will help address the industry’s acute skills crisis, while creating a new diverse generation of industry leaders."