Compass supports National Apprenticeship Week with SERTUC and The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust at Apprenticeships Open Day

On Monday 6 February 2012, Compass Group UK & Ireland will help The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, in partnership with unionlearn SERTUC, to highlight the importance of National Apprenticeship Week.

Compass will join learning providers, including Jobcentre Plus, to raise the profile of the benefits of apprenticeships and the opportunities they present, with the aim of improving uptake in the local community. 50 people between the ages of 16-24 in the London Boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich have been invited to the Apprenticeships Open Day, along with 20 Union Learning Representatives. This initiative will give them an opportunity to explore apprenticeship opportunities available, as well as informing them of additional support open to them.

The event will be opened by special guest speakers who support apprenticeship programmes and there will also be presentations and case studies of specific apprenticeship schemes.

One speaker is 23 year-old Compass employee, Megan Caulkett. Megan is a former apprentice of the Compass Academy; a Compass apprenticeship scheme for school leavers and existing front-line employees offering a route into junior management roles within the business. Megan works in the Sports, Leisure and Hospitality division of Compass and is now Concessions Manager at The O2 Arena in North Greenwich. At the Apprentices Open Day, Megan will talk about the opportunities that presented themselves through her apprenticeship with Compass – where she has completed a Level 2 apprenticeship and progressed to Level 3 – and the impact these have had on her current role.

Claire Timmins, Head of Learning & Development at Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “We are really proud to support unionlearn SERTUC and The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust at the Apprenticeships Open Day, and we hope this initiative will encourage young people in Lewisham and Greenwich to look into the opportunities available to them locally.

“People are at the heart of our business and National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the development path we offer our people; Compass really can provide a career for life.”

Barry Francis, Regional Manager, unionlearn with SERTUC, said: “unionlearn SERTUC is delighted to be working with The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and employers like Compass to encourage the take-up of quality apprenticeships among more employers, and to explain the benefits of an apprenticeship to young people.”

Doreen Thompson-Addo, Smarter Communities Project Manager from The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, said; “We are pleased to be hosting this Apprenticeship Open Day with unionlearn. As youth unemployment continues to rise and the need for access to work opportunities increases, we hope that this event will encourage more young people to consider becoming an apprentice, as well as inspire more businesses to offer apprenticeship schemes.”

Organisations supporting the open day will also have stands, and people attending will be split into small groups to move around and hear about apprenticeship opportunities, learn about college courses and talk to the guest speakers. unionlearn SERTUC will assist in facilitating the event, giving a union perspective on apprenticeships and helping to give advice to existing and prospective apprentices.

School meals provider Chartwells, part of Compass, will also support the event. Fiona Lynch, Chartwells’ Director of Foodservice for Lewisham LA, and other members of the Chartwells team Ruth Wright, Recruitment and Resources Manager, and James Small, Food Development and Training Manager, will provide advice and information on learning and development opportunities.

Over the past year, Compass has supported 1,600 apprentices through nationally recognised qualifications. The company offers a comprehensive range of apprenticeship programmes specialising in an array of subjects including; Hospitality Supervision, Customer Service, Retail, Food & Drink, Professional Cookery and Leadership & Management. In January, Compass signed up to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Business Compact, Nick Clegg’s flagship scheme to create fairer career opportunities for people from all walks of life.

Compass Group Website