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Xcelerate with Edgbaston, the inaugural Compass Group UK and Ireland regional community skills and learning centre for training and excellence, has officially opened its doors Edgbaston Stadium.

Operated by its sports and leisure caterer, Levy UK + Ireland, the centre aims to support the training and upskilling of its colleagues and the local community.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston will offer apprenticeships, career development and skills training within the Compass network, as well as extending its benefits to the broader hospitality industry. Additionally, the centre will feature a comprehensive community engagement programme and a diverse range of cookery masterclasses tailored for aspiring home chefs.

The centre is equipped with 12 cooking stations, a lecture theatre, practical training areas, and the latest industry-specific technology.

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.

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.”

Edgbaston community director, Fidelis Navas, said, “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 and Ireland, said, “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.”

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.

Watch the Xcelerate launch via this flythrough video here.

Pictured: 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 (from left to right).