Give youth a chance

03/10/2016 - 07:24
Compass UK & Ireland has announced ambitious plans to expand the number of apprenticeships it offers. Melanie Hayes the groups’ resourcing and development director, explains why.

At Compass apprentices have always been important. Over the past five years we have supported 3,000 apprentices and last year we were named in the UK’s top 100 apprenticeship employers.

However, we felt we could do more, which is why in March we announced a significant increase in apprenticeships to 1,500 by the end of 2017. This is not just about numbers, we are also focused on ensuring each apprenticeship brings value to both the business and the individual.

They offer the opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ and we often find colleagues we take on as apprentices are incredibly hard working, which is hugely rewarding for both the business and the individual.

The apprenticeships are delivered through a series of workshops where the subject matter is taught and the learning taken back to the workplace.

This ensures not only the transfer of learning back to the working world, but allows for networking with fellow apprentices, the opportunity for open discussion and a feeling of being part of a special group being invested in by Compass.

We regularly see the value in apprenticeships where we recruit a great person who has the right attitude and behaviours, but not necessarily the skills to do the job.

Our Apprenticeship Pathway consists of 16 different programmes at intermediate, advanced and higher level offering, each offering a clear development route into leadership and management.

We have already started to see this working as our managerial positions are becoming easier to fill as our talent pipeline is growing.

By offering a full range of apprenticeships we can set the foundations in place for progression through the company. Many apprentices go on to the next level of the apprenticeship ladder and 75% gain both a promotion and a pay rise on successful completion of their programme.

The Chef Academy apprenticeship, a specially designed programme for up and coming chefs, is a great example of one of our schemes for those seeking to start their careers. Apprentices between the ages of 16-23 years old take on a full-time job in one of our kitchens and earn a paid salary while working towards nationally recognised accreditations in professional cookery.

The programme allows participants to progress their passion for cooking at the same time as exposing them to working in a kitchen environment.

To ensure our apprenticeships remain at the highest level possible we have partnered with Jigsaw Training, with the specialist provider delivering frontline intermediate apprenticeships.

Support from the Skills Funding Agency, together with a significant contribution from us, have funded our training offers.

We are incredibly pleased to have this partnership as it allows us to fully embed apprenticeship programmes into our ways of working and ensure our training is to the highest quality.

Apprenticeships done well should be a win for both the apprentice and the employer. By ensuring our apprenticeships feature as part of a career pathway, offer real opportunities to the participant and contribute to the long term plans of our business, we believe apprenticeships will always have an important and meaningful role to play within our company.

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