IHIC supports two Ukrainian refugees to secure hospitality jobs

The International Hotel Investment Council (IHIC) has helped two women who fled the war in Ukraine to find jobs working for Starbucks after taking part in a Springboard training course.

A donation from IHIC funded the places of Anzhelina Kuchmenko and Natalia Avramenko on the four-week destination hospitality course in Edinburgh, which included soft skills development, hospitality training, CV and interview skills, industry visits and a week’s work experience.

Both women are among the Ukrainians living on a cruise ship docked in Leith and said the course helped them build their confidence, make friends in the area and see hospitality as a great career choice.

“The most surprising thing I’ve learned is that all the experience I have, all the skills I gained just by living my life can be exploited and turned into something personal and meaningful for the customers,” said Anzhelina.

“Just after learning this I understood that hospitality is a great match for me. I became a part of the Starbucks team who are the embodiment of what friendly and meaningful customer service is. I was supposed to be a barista, but within a few days of working, my manager offered me a higher position as a shift supervisor.

“This course has also helped me to overcome my language barrier and find new friends. In three weeks, our group became a great team, and I actually miss the atmosphere we had when we were doing the course. Some of my new friends are now my colleagues at Starbucks, while others now work at hotels and bars.

“Thank you to Springboard and IHIC for this great opportunity. You’ve built my new life here in Edinburgh! I can’t describe how grateful I am.

Natalia added: “I am really happy about having attended the course because I learned a lot about customer service, food safety, the legal responsibilities around the sale of alcohol, making drinks, job search and well-being. There were a lot of useful workshops and fantastic presentations.”

Commenting on the Springboard programme, IHIC director, Tim Helliwell, emphasised the hope that IHIC’s assistance will have a lasting impact on both their lives and careers. 

“The members of IHIC are delighted to have been able to support this initiative and to help provide meaningful employment opportunities within the hospitality sector.  We wish Natalia and Anzhelina every success in the future,“ he said.

Published: 15th March 2023

Last edited: 15th March 2023

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