Springboard helps 10,000 young people secure hospitality jobs

Leading hospitality charity Springboard is celebrating having supported more than 10,000 people into employment through its Springboard to 2022 initiative, which launched in October 2020.

The scheme saw the leading hospitality charity support thousands back into work, from all walks of life including Ukrainian refugees, care leavers, those with mental and physical health conditions, and various other barriers to employment.

Launched to help the industry rebuild from the ongoing impacts of the covid pandemic, ‘Springboard to 2022’ sought to tackle the hospitality, leisure, and tourism industry's long-term staffing crisis by ensuring an engaged, skilled talent pipeline to fill vacancies.

The charity is now celebrating having surpassed its initial target, helping more than 10,000 people nationwide secure jobs in hospitality. The 10,000 trainees of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life, have fallen in love with hospitality and secured work within renowned businesses, including IHG, Compass, Hilton, Jury’s Inn, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and Nando’s.

Of the 10,000 people securing jobs in hospitality, 56% were male and 46% were female, with 85% aged under 30. 40% went into front-of-house roles, 25% into the kitchen, 15% into reception jobs, 8% into cleaning, and 12% into support roles, including marketing, finance, or maintenance.

Among the trainees, Maryna Tonka, a single mother who fled the war in Ukraine to find shelter for herself and her daughter in Scotland, has secured work as an F&B Assistant at the IBIS South Bridge in Edinburgh. Maryna signed up for the training hoping to learn new skills to help her overcome the language barrier faced in Scotland and enable her to find employment.

Discussing her experience, Maryna said: “As a refugee from Ukraine, I wanted to be useful to the country sheltering us. As part of my training, I learned valuable skills such as how to work in a team and how client relationships differ between Ukraine and Scotland. The training was hugely valuable and has helped me find a job I truly enjoy.”

Harry Smalley, from London, is another trainee to benefit from Springboard’s training. Born with cerebral palsy, Harry has consistently struggled to secure a job in an accessible and accepting workplace. Harry was placed in contact with Springboard through his local Jobcentre and has now secured work at Georgian House Hotel in Pimlico.

Discussing his experience, Harry said, “The hospitality sector is a great place to work. It gives young people the opportunity to build a wide range of skills - from communication, customer service, and cultural awareness to multi-tasking, adaptability, attention to detail, and more! It’s a great sector to be involved in if you have a passion for food and drink, culture, and customer service.

“The Springboard team helped me find a compassionate and understanding prospective employer. Ultimately, this experience has given me the confidence and ability to secure a fantastic job with the wonderful team at Georgian House Hotel.”

Another trainee supported by Springboard to 2022 was Jasmine Fisher, 26, who is now working for Hilton having completed Springboard’s Skill Up Step Up course.

Jasmine, who has already been promoted to a team leader role, said, “Before I took part in the course, I really struggled with my confidence. However, after taking part in the course I have noticed that my confidence has improved a lot. This was thanks to the support and guidance from my trainer.”

The team supports people into jobs via a range of employability training programmes that include one-to-one mentoring, and soft and hard skills development, while also providing access to work placements for participants to gain hands-on, practical experience.

Springboards efforts have helped leading industry businesses by ensuring they have access to a skilled and engaged talent pipeline ready for the industry when vacancies become available.

Discussing the success of Springboard to 2022, Chris Gamm, CEO of Springboard, said, “We're delighted to have reached and exceeded our goal, helping more than 10,000 people find employment this year.

'Hearing how the programme has changed the lives of participants - many of whom faced challenges such as mental or physical health conditions and the war in Ukraine - makes this achievement even more meaningful.

“Knowing we've been able to support the hospitality businesses we work with as they continue to face staffing challenges resulting from Brexit and COVID-19 is also incredibly positive - and we look forward to furthering this next year.'