To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week this year (6 to 10 February), Compass Group UK & Ireland organised an action-packed week of activities to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships while also raising money for a very worthwhile cause!
The final day of National Apprenticeship Week, saw Compass’ chef talent come to the fore as Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton hosted an apprentice cook-off at the Compass Innovation Centre in Chertsey.
Jason Atherton prepared fillet of red mullet, samphire, cockles, roast potatoes in seaweed and prawn paella before members of Compass’ executive team – Andy Harris, Managing Director of Restaurant Associates, and Robin Mills, Managing Director of Chartwells – each partnered an apprentice to recreate the dish. Jason judged the most successful team before guests at the event were treated to tasters of the cuisine.
Commenting on his support for apprenticeships, Jason Atherton said, “Britain has some exceptional chefs creating fantastic food. To ensure our industry continues to innovate and develop, fresh talent is essential and I believe apprenticeships play a vital part in this. It’s great to see that Compass has so many talented young chefs within the business and the skill demonstrated by its apprentices is thoroughly impressive.”
Jason Atherton is a patron of Hospitality Action, and earlier in the week Compass supported the charity with another National Apprenticeship initiative. On Wednesday 8 February, 50 apprentices joined Ian Sarson, Group Managing Director of Compass Group UK & Ireland, to present Penny Moore, CEO of Hospitality Action, with £20,000 after weeks of apprenticeship fundraising.
Hospitality Action, the hospitality industry benevolent organisation, provides vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and find themselves in crisis. To raise awareness of the work it does, Compass apprentices from the Academy scheme were divided into 10 teams and given a mission to turn £200 into £2,000. The apprentices rose to the challenge and, following charity dinners, raffles, sports challenges and more initiatives, met their target.
Andrew Richards, HR Director for Compass Group UK & Ireland, said; “Great people are at the heart of our business and Compass is committed to offering apprenticeships that will help people develop their careers. We fully support National Apprenticeship Week and this has been a fantastic opportunity to highlight the development paths available and the career satisfaction this industry provides.”
Penny Moore, CEO of Hospitality Action said; “I have been hugely impressed by the hard work and dedication shown by the Compass Academy students in this challenge and thrilled that they have successfully reached the £20,000 target. The range of innovative ideas the teams came up with were inspirational and this donation will go a long way in supporting those in need within the hospitality industry. This initiative also helped raise awareness of Hospitality Action and our work and I would like to congratulate and thank everyone that took part.”