Compass Scotland pledges to create 100 apprenticeships with help from chef Tom Kitchin

Workplace catering giant Compass has pledged to create 100 apprenticeship opportunities in Scotland over the next year.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 12:30 pm
Chef and culinary ambassador Tom Kitchin with Compass Scotland managing director David Hay. Picture: @Schnappsphoto

The firm, which last year signed up Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin as a “culinary ambassador”, said its apprenticeship programmes create a “career progression roadmap” for an individual to work toward, from a foundation, modern or graduate apprenticeship, dependent on their current situation.

Marking the start of the new scheme, four Compass apprentices have started a four-year graduate apprenticeship in business management at the University of Strathclyde.

Foundation apprenticeships have been developed in partnership with Skills Development Scotland, Eastbank Academy, City of Glasgow College and Glasgow City Council; and Modern Apprenticeships will be offered in partnership with Polaris and City of Glasgow College.

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To deliver the programme, Compass Scotland is working closely with Scottish clients, local businesses, hospitality industry stakeholders, colleges, and universities; with input from Kitchin.

The firm said that the aim is to deliver an “industry-leading, aspirational career pathways structure that offers genuine opportunities for skills development and progression”. Apprenticeships will be offered in culinary, front of house, facilities management, business administration, retail, customer service and management.

Part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, Compass Scotland launched as a distinct business in November. The firm has been operating within the country for about 70 years.

Compass Scotland managing director David Hay said: “This new scheme offers a truly bespoke opportunity, enabling 100 apprentices to learn about the fantastic hospitality industry that we have here in Scotland, directly from those working within it.

“Scotland has an excellent reputation for its hospitality and its world-renowned food and drink. As the industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic, we need to look to the future and ensure that the next generation of talent is nurtured and retained.

“The opportunities offered through our apprenticeship schemes will enable employees to change or enhance their careers, while supporting the future of the industry we feel so passionate about.

“It’s an exciting opportunity at the time we need it the most, and I’m excited to see the results.”

Kitchin said: “I am very excited to be working with Compass on their apprenticeship scheme, which should help to bring through the next generation of hospitality talent in the UK.”

Jonathan Foot, head of apprenticeships and early careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, added: “As an organisation, we offer many excellent learning and development opportunities, but this is the first time we have had something Scotland specific.

“We have made a commitment to modern apprenticeships, supporting the skills development of existing employees as well as attracting new talent. Our structured career pathways offer opportunities for all roles and ages across all business sectors within Compass Scotland.”

The roll-out of the apprenticeship programme coincides with Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

Compass operates in some 6,000-odd locations across the UK and Ireland, providing catering, cleaning and facilities management services to a range of clients and sectors.

In Scotland, the firm provides catering and support services across sectors including education, workplace catering, defence, sports and leisure, plus an Aberdeen-based offshore business. Clients include Edinburgh Zoo, Chrysaor, the EICC and Merchiston School.

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