Xcelerate with Edgbaston, the inaugural Compass Group UK and Ireland state-of-the-art regional community skills and learning centre for training and excellence, officially opens its doors today!

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

Levy UK + Ireland has enjoyed a long-term partnership of over twenty years with Edgbaston and was instrumental in establishing the pioneering training site which is dedicated to elevating the skills and standards of all aspects of hospitality. Xcelerate with Edgbaston will not only offer apprenticeships, career development and skills training within the Compass network but also extend its benefits to the broader hospitality industry, with some graduates going on to secure jobs at the stadium itself. Additionally, the centre will feature a comprehensive community engagement programme and a diverse range of cookery masterclasses tailored for aspiring home chefs.

The one-million-pound training facility boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to provide a conducive learning environment. Equipped with 12 innovative cooking stations, a modern lecture theatre, practical training areas, and the latest industry-specific technology, the centre ensures a comprehensive and immersive learning experience. From culinary arts to front-of-house management and facility management services, our industry experts bring a wealth of experience to deliver hands-on training that prepares individuals for success in their respective roles.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston will help break down barriers and offer opportunities to all. Both local community partners and nationwide market-leading training providers will deliver training on site.

Hospitality Training
From foundational skills to advanced techniques, attendees will receive first hand training and theoretical knowledge to prepare them for successful careers. With a wide Apprenticeship offer from Level 2 through to degree level and spanning culinary, operations, IT, HR, event management, procurement and finance, there is something for everyone wanting to work in hospitality.

Community Engagement  
Xcelerate with Edgbaston is committed to fostering community engagement and will host a variety of programmes, outside of apprenticeships, aimed at the local community and those wishing to start out in the industry. The centre will be home to after-school cookery academies, pre-apprenticeship courses, skills bootcamps, T Level industry placements, ESOL training, as well as supporting refugees and ex-offenders through Gateway to Employment programmes.

Hosted by Steven Lamb, one of the founding tutors at River Cottage, Xcelerate will offer a host of intimate masterclasses designed to meet the demands of the evolving culinary scene. Cooking enthusiasts are encouraged to don an apron and roll up their sleeves, ready to be guided through a gastronomic tutorial by the curing and smoking maestro. Courses range from a One Day Cookery School; Preserves, Pickles and Fermentation; to Vegetarian Cooking; and of course, Curing and Smoking.

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.

Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, sums up the launch: “Xcelerate with Edgbaston is the first of the Compass Group UK and Ireland regional community skills and learning centre for training and excellence, and marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering excellence in service and professionalism within the industry. 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.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, comments: “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.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, says: “I applaud Compass and Levy for investing in the future of hospitality by creating a fantastic space at Xcelerate with Edgbaston, which will provide access to first-class training facilities, for their own staff and people from neighbouring communities.

“Initiatives such as Xcelerate are crucial in supporting our sector. They not only promote hospitality as a career of choice to young people, but they also provide top-class training for people at all levels and stages of their careers, helping to enhance and grow their skillset. We look forward to continuing to support the great work that both Compass and Levy will be doing at Xcelerate with Edgbaston.”

Please see Xcelerate website here and link through to flythrough video here.