Springboard Graduate Education and Mentoring Support

The Innholders Charitable Foundation has started a 3 year commitment of £14,000 to Springboard Graduate Education and Mentoring Support (GEMS). The scheme was established in 2008 to address the fact that 40% of students who studied hospitality-related degrees did not enter the industry upon completing their studies.

The programme provides a three-year mentoring support structure to students, typically starting in year two and going on through to their first year of employment. Both the mentors and mentees are trained by Springboard, using a bespoke specialist, to ensure that they benefit fully from the mentoring and associated networking events.

Research found that universities struggle to engage enough of the right level of visiting speakers and some acknowledged that they found it difficult to keep up with rapidly changing industry developments. The programme are focusing on building a database and regional network of industry leaders and professionals equipped to give talks to students on contemporary matters affecting the sector. The importance of this is emphasised by the fact that one of the most important factors influencing career choice is inspiring and knowledgeable industry speakers.


The most important factor influencing career choice is work experience and it is vital that the students gain practical knowledge of their industry, increasing career opportunities and prospects through high quality placements. The programme will promote student opportunities in a wider variety of sectors and in business who have achieved the Springboard Quality Standard INSPIRE accreditation for work experience. The placement opportunities available will be located within the INSPIRE website for universities and students to access through an online application or brokerage type service.

The injection of a sizeable grant from the Savoy Educational Trust, plus the Innholders funding support and other existing sponsors, enables Springboard to expand the programme significantly over the next three years – which not only means the recruitment and training of 600 mentors and extending the opportunity to a greater number of universities; but the development of the speaker and placements services.

To oversee the work being done they are launching a Steering Group which will be responsible for influencing the direction of the programme, overseeing progress against the targets and supporting the achievement of the objectives through expert input, utilisation of networks and support. The Group will be chaired by John Bennett, Chief Executive of BaxterStorey – one of the new sponsors of the programme and David Taylor (Liveryman of the Innholders), COO of Principal Hotels, a member of the SET Advisory Group will be the Vice Chair and Liveryman Mark Hewitt, a member of the Patronage Committee.

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