PerspectivesUnited Kingdom

Celebrating Hospitality Apprenticeship Week 2021

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With Hospitality Apprenticeship Week underway in the United Kingdom, Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK&I, explains why apprenticeships are relevant to people of all ages.

At Compass Group UK and Ireland, we fully support any initiative which shines a light on our amazing apprentices, and Hospitality Apprenticeship Week does just that.

We’re still beaming over our win at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards, where we won Employer of the Year in the Retail, Hospitality & Tourism category. It was a huge honour and we’re immensely proud to see the growth of our diverse apprentice community acknowledged with this amazing accolade!

Our aim is to empower our people through knowledge, experience, and opportunity, and it’s more important than ever to bring new talent into our great industry. This means we must first look at how we support talent onto the first rung of the career ladder.

We work in partnership with Springboard who deliver our Gateway to Employment Programmes offering people a 3-week course, with a guaranteed interview. We were one of the first large employers to be successful in supporting 16-24-year olds who are on Universal Credits offering up to 500 Skills Development Opportunities and I am very proud that we were able to implement this initiative successfully throughout lockdown and see such positive results. We also run our Junior Chef Academy, which is an introduction to Hospitality/Culinary with pupils from local schools in partnership with City of Portsmouth College, and most recently Stoke On Trent College.


This year we have seen the impact of these programmes with our first two candidates join the Compass Family on their Commis Chef Apprenticeship.

There’s a common misconception about apprenticeships being just for young people starting off in an industry, but you’re never too old to learn. We have developed apprenticeship career progression roadmaps to support our existing people and new recruits via an apprentice vacancy from a Level 2 through to degree apprenticeships level 6 & 7. In fact, we’ve recently seen 15 of our senior chefs embark on an 18-month enhanced culinary programme – Forward with Marcus Wareing – a collaboration with the esteemed chef which runs alongside a Level 4 Senior Culinary Chef or Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager apprenticeship, delivered in partnership with our preferred hospitality delivery partner HIT Training.

It’s not all about culinary apprenticeships at Compass though, we offer over 40 apprenticeships from Front-of-House to Facilities Management and Events, Retail, Business, Finance, HR and even IT and digital solutions. We’re dedicated to fostering a culture from within by providing development opportunities for everyone. Earlier this year the business launched ‘Career Pathways’, a programme which promotes progression.

The past year has seen our apprenticeship commitment grow even further with our regional expansions. March saw the launch of our Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship programmes in Compass Scotland and our first three apprentices joining Apprenticeship Hospitality Scotland culinary programme, followed swiftly in April with a programme in Wales with Compass Cymru. We are currently developing a bespoke Apprenticeship Programme for Ireland with some exciting news coming soon!

This week is all about celebrating Hospitality Apprenticeships and promoting that the industry is #MoreThanAJob – which offers individuals great opportunities to develop skills, knowledge, behaviours and career progression. If you have already been inspired, you can find out more here –

Jonathan Foot

Jonathan Foot is the Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group.

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