From education to employment



The UK’s largest food and support services company also announces new diversity commitments, including the food and support service industry’s first socio-economic representation targets 

News facts:

  • Compass Group UK & Ireland has announced Mission to a Million a commitment to provide support to one million people by 2030 through jobs, training, community engagement and development.1
  • It includes gender, ethnic minority and the industry’s first socio-economic representation targets across its executive team, middle management, junior management and frontline roles
  • Compass Group UK & Ireland has published its commitments and timeline in more detail in Our Social Promise and Social Promise Roadmap

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services provider, has announced a new strategy to address the inequalities that create barriers to progress. 

The Mission to a Million commitment will see Compass provide support to one million people, from both within and outside the organisation, by 2030 to enhance their opportunities and change their lives through job creation, education, training, community and charitable engagement.

Opportunities include:

  • Providing work through skill development, entry-level schemes and promotions.
  • Outreach to schools and communities to provide access to work placements and opportunities.
  • Working with communities and social enterprises through the introduction of volunteer days.
  • Promoting healthy eating habits for the next generation.
  • Compass Group’s flagship Compass Group Academy, which is set to open next year, will provide further opportunities for skills development

Compass has also set new targets to improve diversity across the company. The commitments include ambitious gender, ethnicity (with specific targets on Black representation) and the industry’s first socio-economic representation targets. These targets are set for the executive and leadership team, middle management, junior management and frontline workers.

The firm is targeting a 50:50 gender split by 2025, while 14% of its employees will be from an ethnic minority background (5% of whom will be Black) by 2027. Two fifths (40%) of its employees will come from a lower socio-economic background by 2030. The firm has also committed to increasing support, education and placements for people with disabilities.

In addition, Compass has set an annual target for promotions within the company to gradually improve diversity across middle and senior management. It will track progression rates for employees of different genders and ethnicities to have a clear understanding of the strategy’s impact.

It comes as part of a drive for Compass to offer jobs, skills and training to less advantaged communities to ensure the company is to be representative of the UK working population at all levels.

To hold itself accountable to these commitments, Compass has pledged to report annually on progress towards its social mobility targets. Additionally, it has published Our Social Promise and its Social Promise Roadmap, which details the steps it will take leading up to 2030.

“Our Social Promise” forms part of Compass’ wider social value strategy, alongside its Net Zero and health and wellbeing commitments.

Robin Mills, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & I said:

“As an employer of around 45,000 people, we know that we have the ability to make a real difference not only to the lives of our own employees, but also the communities in which we serve. Hospitality is well placed to bring down barriers that exist in relation to social mobility. You can join the industry and be trained on the job. We are committed to investing in our employees and also working to support disadvantaged groups. I passionately believe that whatever your background, you should have the opportunity to progress and build a career. I believe our programme is a significant step forward to achieve this”. 

Donna Catley, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & I said:

“Our Social Promise is one of the biggest and boldest set of commitments made in business – designed to provide opportunities for all. The size and reach of Compass across the UK’s major regions means that we are uniquely placed to benefit people from all walks of life. Our targets will improve our diversity at all levels and we want to ensure we are benefiting the communities that we serve. Our benchmarking has given us a clear view of where we are and our roadmap shows where we want to be. I’m looking forward to delivering these ambitious commitments, which we hope will lead towards a more equitable and diverse society.”

Sarah Atkinson, Chief Executive, Social Mobility Foundation said:

“It is excellent to see Compass Group launch their social mobility strategy and outline their plans to create opportunities for so many people right across the UK. I particularly welcome the commitment to setting targets for socio-economic representation at different levels in the business – demonstrating a focus not just on who gets in, but also who gets on. I hope the lead that Compass Group is taking acts as a catalyst for others.”

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