Springboard Blog

Ashraf's story

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Profile Picture Ashraf

Determination and persistence can empower anybody to overcome adversity and Ashraf is a prime example

Originally from Bangladesh, Ashraf had been living in the UK since 2009, working as Operations Manager for Sonali Bank and performing extremely well. Sadly, in October 2014, Ashraf was made redundant but expected it to just be a small setback. However, over the coming months, Ashraf became increasingly worried by the growing volume of applications he was sending off and the relatively small number of responses he was receiving. Ashraf felt that he was facing discrimination for only having worked in Bangladeshi banking in the past and what he thought would only be a short gap in employment soon became a crisis for him. Ashraf was surprised that a well-educated and professional man of his age would be visiting his local job centre on a regular basis. For the first time in his life, he felt powerless and was dealing with an enormous amount of stress, paricularly feeling the pressure to provide for his family of four. After a year out of work, Ashraf felt frustrated and scared about his situation as he was repeatedly told that he was overqualified for every entry-level role he applied for but simultaneously wasn't getting anywhere with lateral career move opportunities due to a supposed lack of experience. He felt stuck, despite his persistence and hard work.

Just as Ashraf was about to give up hope, he heard about Springboard's Hospitality Futures programme and after speaking to the programme manager about the potential of securing a role in finance within hospitality, he decided to sign up for the programme. Unsurprisingly, Ashraf did extremely well throughout the programme, already possessing many of the relevant skills and experience, and acted as a role model for his peers on the course. Upon completion of the Hospitality Futures programme, Ashraf was looking for a finance placement and the programme manager was confident that with his industry knowledge and skills, he'd be able to resume a promising and stable career thereafter. Initially, there were a few hiccups in Ashraf's pursuit of a finance role due to factors outside of his control and he took up an offer for reception work as he continued to push towards securing the role he wanted. After 3 months, Ashraf was eventually thrilled and relieved to be able to secure a role as an Accounts Payable Assitant at the Park Plaza Hotel Westminster. Ashraf has now been at the hotel for over 3 months and has been able to begin rebuilding his career in a fantastic industry which believed in him enough to take a chance on somebody outside of what other industries may see as the typical candidate. Ashraf's determination and relentless pursuit of a career, coupled with his open-mindedness to consider moving into the wonderful world of hospitality is what allowed him to succeed eventually.


Julian's story

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Julian Picture

"It feels great to be busy, meeting new people and earning money again. I’ve found a job that I really love and I have to say a huge thank you to The Springboard Charity!”

Julian was a self-employed artist for over a decade making art works which he sold online and in market stalls. In 2016, due to financial difficulties, Julian was sadly forced to terminate the business as he wanted to pursue a more sustainable and stable career. Lacking recent professional experience, Julian struggled to find employment, in part because he had been self-employed for a while. He also found that he was unfairly inhibited by his age as many employers were reluctant to hire somebody over the age of 60. Julian was determined to find work and find a rewarding and regular career which would provide him with some structure but unfortunately, weeks turned into months and before discovering The Springboard Charity, Julian had been unemployed for over two and half years. Through his local Job Centre, Julian was introduced to Springboard and signed up for the Hospitality Futures programme. He admits that he was apprehensive at first, viewing hospitality as a career outside his skills and interest but after meeting with the programme manager, Julian felt reassured and his interest was piqued. His excellent performance and enthusiasm during the programme was recognised by everybody involved and even Julian himself was amazed by the variety of opportunities available to him within the hospitality industry.

He felt a newfound sense of optimism and excitement, eager to start his work experience at the Novotel London Canary Wharf in the kitchen. Julian very much enjoyed the experience but decided to explore roles in customer service which would suit his charming and fun personality. He was also looking for flexible work which would allow for a personalised schedule to suit his personal commitments. In January 2019, Julian was able to secure a role at the Cavalry and Guards Club with the help of Springboard, working in their events team on a flexible basis. Alongside this position, Springboard also helped Julian to take on a role at Coople, a major hospitality and events supplier and one of Springboard's business partners, where he has been working for the past few months in some of the best hotels and venues in London. Julian's story encompasses many of the core Springboard values and demonstrates that you are never too old to have a career change!

Find out how you can help others like Julian to overcome personal difficulties and achieve success within a hospitality career now

Jason's story

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“Since completing the programme with Springboard, my confidence has improved massively. I’m feeling much more positive about the future.”

Jason always knew that he wanted to work in an environment where he could interact with and help people, but he struggled to find the confidence and motivation he needed to pursue a career he was really passionate about. Towards the end of Jason’s time completing his studies at college, he had become disinterested in the subjects he was studying but was struggling to secure full-time employment; receiving only rejections in response. Jason was also bearing the growing pressure of supporting his family financially and was left feeling “desperate and useless”.

Last year, after a series of failed job applications, Jason stumbled across The Springboard Charity when he got in touch for CV advice, having been linked to the charity previously through some voluntary work he’d undertaken at a hotel which had been organised through his college. Jason spoke to Springboard’s Careers Advice and Guidance team who recommended that he look at some of our employability programmes. Jason completed the Compass programme in the autumn, describing it as “eye-opening”. 

The programme provided Jason with 2 weeks of pre-employment training, including accredited certificates in Customer Service Level 2. For the first time, Jason was pushed out of his comfort zone and was able to choose from a number of career options presented by Springboard’s many business partners and connections. Not only did his career prospects improve but Jason also felt an overwhelming sense of optimism in light of taking part in the programme: “My confidence has improved massively. The programme really surpassed my expectations.”

The Compass employability programme allowed Jason to flourish and grow his communication skills, taking on a lead role in the group and really excelling himself. 

It allowed Jason to begin a career in hospitality, working front-of-house as a receptionist where he was able to interact with guests and really hone his customer service skills; the area he felt most passionate about. He has been working as a night receptionist at the Andaz for the past few months and hopes to progress within the hospitality industry.