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Compass Group – Supporting People With Learning Disabilities

Compass Group – Supporting People With Learning Disabilities
07 December 2021

Compass Group UK & Ireland has partnered with Tower Project JET Service to support people with learning disabilities and autism.

According to NHS figures, just 5.1 per cent of people with learning disabilities are in employment, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission defines this group as one of England’s most disadvantaged groups.

Aiming to set an example within the FM and foodservice industry, Compass Group UK & Ireland is working with East London’s leading service provider for people with learning disabilities and autism, Tower Project JET Service (JET), to show how companies should be investing in the disabled workforce.

The two companies have been working together over the past year, to support more people with learning disabilities to progress into employment, both within Compass and the wider hospitality sector. 

Training includes: "How to Provide Award-Winning Customer Service" by Managers from Rapport, award-winning guest services provider; "Tea Tasting by the Head of Beverages at Restaurants Associates", "Introduction to Chef Skills" by the Sector Executive Chef at ESS and "Afternoon Tea Preparation" by the Managing Director of Payne & Gunter, the party and event catering arm. 


"An Untapped Talent Pool"


Graham Smithers Head of Services at JET is full of praise for the new partnership: “We cannot thank Compass Group UK and Ireland enough for their continued support. Their staff has shown real disability confidence in their delivery of both training sessions and mentoring support.

“This partnership has highlighted that jobseekers with learning disabilities and autism are an untapped talent pool that can help reduce the recruitment challenges currently facing the hospitality industry in the UK.”

Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK and Ireland Jonathan Foot, said: “We worked closely with JET to tailor the training programme. There are so many opportunities for career development at Compass that we wanted to ensure we got this across. We’re passionate about recruiting, retaining and training our people.”

Chief People Officer at Compass Group UK and Ireland, Donna Catley, added: “As a Disability Confident employer, I believe we’re the perfect partner to help JET with its quest to enable and empower people with disabilities. We’re all about career development and inclusion at Compass, and it’s especially rewarding collaborating with JET and we wholeheartedly endorse partnerships like this.

“We hope that more hospitality and foodservice businesses are working with similar foundations to support people with disabilities to progress into employment in our great industry.”


Employing Neurodiverse People


Employers, and facilities managers within companies, can help to make workplaces more inclusive by making small adjustments, therefore opening up opportunities for this highly skilled and employable workforce.

There are also several guides that discuss the benefits of employing an autistic person and offer tips for recruitment and interviewing: 

Picture: a photograph of a member of Tower Project JET Service, carrying a catering tray

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 07 December 2021


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