Home / catering / Compass opens first Xcelerate training and excellence hub
(l-r) Gary Sambrook MP; Jon Davies - MD Levy; Kate Nicholls - CEO UKHospitality; Norman Gascoigne - Chairman, Edgbaston Experience Ltd; Andy Street - Mayor of West Midlands; Carol Sommerville - CPO, Compass Group UK & Ireland; and Jonathan Foot - Head of Apprentices and Skills, Compass Group UK & Ireland

Compass opens first Xcelerate training and excellence hub

Compass Group UK & Ireland’s inaugural regional community skills and learning hub for training and excellence has officially opened its doors.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston, which is operated by the group’s sports and leisure caterer, Levy UK + Ireland, and located at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium, aims to support the training and upskilling of its colleagues and the local community.

Levy UK + Ireland has enjoyed a long-term partnership of over 20 years with Edgbaston and was instrumental in establishing the pioneering training site which is dedicated to elevating the skills and standards of all aspects of hospitality.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston will not only offer apprenticeships, career development and skills training within the Compass network but also extend its benefits to the broader hospitality industry, with some graduates going on to secure jobs at the stadium itself. Additionally, the centre will feature a comprehensive community engagement programme and a diverse range of cookery masterclasses tailored for aspiring home chefs.

The one-million-pound training facility boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to provide a conducive learning environment. Equipped with 12 innovative cooking stations, a modern lecture theatre, practical training areas, and the latest industry-specific technology, the centre ensures a comprehensive and immersive learning experience. From culinary arts to front-of-house management and facility management services, industry experts will bring a wealth of experience to deliver hands-on training that prepares individuals for success in their respective roles.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston will help break down barriers and offer opportunities to all. Both local community partners and nationwide market-leading training providers will deliver training on site.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has been working with Xcelerate with Edgbaston and Compass to help link its own skills training to the new facility and encourage local people and businesses to take advantage of the training and support on offer.

Commenting on the new hub, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “Hospitality is an incredibly important sector not just for our regional economy but also for our communities, providing valuable opportunities for local people either seeking work or simply an enjoyable night out with family and friends.

“But we know the industry has struggled with a shortage of skilled workers in recent times which is why I’m so pleased to officially open Xcelerate here at Edgbaston Stadium. I look forward to seeing it play a pivotal role in giving people the skills they need to work in hospitality while helping our local businesses recruit the future talent they need to prosper in the months and years ahead.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “Initiatives such as Xcelerate are crucial in supporting our sector. They not only promote hospitality as a career of choice to young people, but they also provide top-class training for people at all levels and stages of their careers, helping to enhance and grow their skillset. We look forward to continuing to support the great work that both Compass and Levy will be doing at Xcelerate with Edgbaston.”

Edgbaston Community Director, Fidelis Navas, added: “We take considerable pride in being the first site to house an Xcelerate community centre for training and excellence. Edgbaston is dedicated to serving our surrounding communities. Most of the staff that work here on match days come from the local area and we see Xcelerate as an opportunity to provide more career opportunities for people living near Edgbaston.

“This centre offers a fantastic facility, equipped with modern amenities, for prospective Edgbaston employees to undergo training in various roles such as chefs, event managers, receptionists, baristas, and facilities managers. There will be opportunities for trainees to showcase their talents on match days – including England internationals when 25,000 spectators will be here – and for visitors to savour the food the trainee chefs create.”

Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, summed up the launch: “Xcelerate with Edgbaston is the first of the Compass Group UK and Ireland regional community skills and learning centre for training and excellence, and marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering excellence in service and professionalism within the industry. Our mission is to offer everyone the opportunity to develop and progress. To nurture and empower the next generation of hospitality professionals, reach out to local communities to offer our skills and knowledge, and provide cooking experiences for budding home chefs.”

The Xcelerate training space will also be utilised on match days providing an enhanced experience for cricket goers, offering a modern and vibrant food and drink area with the latest technology.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston is the first of a series of regional hubs of training excellence, under the “Xcelerate” name, being set up by Compass Group UK and Ireland across the country.


About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *