About Compass Group
Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services’ company, is leading the way in apprenticeships. Apprentices have always been incredibly important to Compass Group right across the business and we recognise the value that they can bring not only for the company but also the individual looking to enhance their career opportunities.
Having run apprenticeship programmes over a number of years, we have identified a real need for apprenticeships where we recruit a great person who has the right attitude and behaviours, but not necessary the skills to do the job. So we have created 16 different types of apprenticeship programme, where opportunities include careers in food and support services – from culinary and security to finance and management roles. All these apprenticeship programmes help to build the technical knowledge and capabilities of our people and can take colleagues from school leavers starting their careers to highly skilled management roles. Furthermore, our apprenticeships don’t stop at supporting new learning at an intermediate level, which is the equivalent of 5 good grade GCSE passes, but also offer development at an advanced level into management, the equivalent to two grade C+ A levels.
The intermediate team leader apprenticeship provides quality training for newly appointed supervisors or team leaders while the advanced apprenticeship in leadership and management delivers training for newly appointed team leaders in our larger units (sites we operate at), supervisors and kitchen managers. By offering a full range of apprenticeships we can set the foundations in place for those new to management.
Our strong track record was recognised when we were named in the UK’s top 100 apprenticeship employers last year. Over 3,000 apprentices have qualified within the business in the past five years, however we want to do more. That is why we recently announced our plan to significantly increase the number of apprentices to 1,500 by the end of 2017. Our success as a company depends on our ability to identify, develop and deliver good quality apprenticeship programmes, we have often found the colleagues we take on as apprentices work hard and apply themselves, which is hugely rewarding for both the business and the apprentices themselves. Engaging effectively with apprentices early on in their career helps to build a pipeline of talent throughout the company. We have already started to see this working as our managerial positions are becoming less hard to fill as our talent pipeline is growing.
Compass Group is predominantly a food services business, so there is a continual need to hire chefs, however due to the shortages in the industry we do need to recruit candidates externally. We have a programme that focuses on hiring young people between the ages of 16-23 years old, to study an intermediate 12-month Professional Cookery apprenticeship whilst at work, earning a wage, before developing and progressing further into the business, whilst increasing their culinary skills. Culinary apprentices even have the opportunity to support when Compass Group cater at major events such as the Brit Awards and Wimbledon!
Importantly, our culinary programme is further being supported by the launch of our “Women in Food” campaign. We were aware that the number of women chefs in the industry sits at a dismal 18.5%, and while Compass has a workforce made up of 35% female chefs and 40% of female apprentices are studying a culinary apprenticeship we decided we could do more. Therefore, we have set the target of achieving 50% female chefs by 2020.
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