Compass Group UK & Ireland has become the first big player within the hospitality sector to sign up to the Social Mobility Pledge in order to underline its commitment to equal opportunities and to help improve social mobility across the UK.
The food and support services firm employs over 60,000 people in the UK and has been recognised for its apprenticeship strategy and training programmes, so is already taking a number of positive steps to support social mobility. The pledge asks that its accredited employers partner with schools and colleges to provide careers advice and mentoring to people from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as work experience and apprenticeship opportunities. Finally, they must embrace transparent employee recruitment practices which promote a level playing field.
Donna Catley, HR Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “First and foremost we are a people business and signing the Social Mobility Pledge is an important landmark which goes hand in hand with the excellent work we’re already doing. As market leader I believe it is our job to lead by example, raise awareness and do all we can to make a difference. The educational and qualification barriers that exist in some industries simply don’t exist in ours, so we have a unique opportunity to help thousands of people progress and grow across the UK. We are deeply committed to this and it’s something many of our senior leadership are passionate about, having come from a range of different socioeconomic backgrounds themselves.
“In unison with our pledge we are also making commitments to our employees, as we seek to continue to support, grow and develop them. Finally, we will train several thousand managers over the next year to equip them with the people management skills and tools to support our ambitions.”
The Social Mobility Pledge was founded by former Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, and David Harrison, Chair of the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility. Since its launch in March 2018, over 350 businesses have signed representing almost three million employees.
Compass Group UK & Ireland also signed the Care Leaver Covenant back in April this year to provide support for those leaving care looking for employment in the hospitality sector. The company has also partnered with leading hospitality industry charity, Springboard UK on a number of initiatives throughout the year.