Leading employer Compass threatens to review relationship with hospitality sector skills council People 1st

The leading employer in the catering and hospitality industry has threatened to scale back support for sector skills council People 1st.

Ian El-Mokadem, managing director of foodservice group Compass, which employs more than 100,000 staff in the UK, said that, a year into his role, he had “yet to see any tangible results from the work People 1st is doing”.

He told Personnel Today’s sister title Caterer & Hotelkeeper: “We are currently reviewing whether we can continue to support People 1st to the extent that we have been, given these issues.”

Such a move by Compass would prove particularly damaging for People 1st, as the company has been heavily involved with its work to date. Compass’ human resources director Mike Burton sits on the council’s board and played a key role in developing the National Skills Strategy.

Other major hospitality employers called on People 1st to get more involved with the hospitality industry in its efforts to advance schemes such as the online skills passport.

Phil Hooper, corporate affairs director at contract caterer Sodexho, said: “Given the breadth of the sector, we believe that we need increased contact [from People 1st] at senior level across the leading foodservice organisations.

David McHattie, chief operating officer at People 1st, said he was surprised by El-Mokadem’s comments, given its regular meetings with Compass executives to discuss strategy.

He pointed to People 1st’s work on the government’s Leitch Review, the skills passport, and the sector’s National Skills Academy.

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