Bonus Episode #013 - Hospitality Meets Chris Gamm - The Springboard CEO Charity - Hospitality Meets... with Phil Street

Episode 13

Bonus Episode #013 - Hospitality Meets Chris Gamm - The Springboard CEO Charity

As you all know, occasionally we like to shine a light on those who are doing something just that little bit special. Today's guest is one such person.

I chatted to Chris Gamm, The Springboard Charity CEO (https://springboard.uk.net/).

We get through so much including:-

  • Getting into Hospitality early
  • Advancing through Pizza
  • Journalism
  • Generational experiences
  • Taking the reins at Springboard
  • Taking over from a legend
  • Staying focused
  • The positives of Covid
  • Springboard into 2022
  • Careerscope
  • Springboard Ambassador
  • Events
  • Panto
  • Social media

This is a wonderfully upbeat chat from start to finish and Chris demonstrates a brilliant attitude to hospitality all the way through. There's no doubt that Springboard are doing valuable work.

Look out for Chris' Tik Tok account, coming soon.

Enjoy!



This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy
Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
Transcript

00:00.00

philjstreet

Hello and welcome to the next episode of hospitality meets with me your host Phil Street in today's episode we've got one of the more prominent faces of the Uk hospitality and I for 1 am very excited to learn how we got here. As for all intents and purposes. He's fairly late to the party of its hospitality now at the Helm of the wonderful charity that is springboard I am of course talking about the awesome Chris Gamm welcome to the show how you doing.

00:25.89

Chris Gamm

Hi Phil and great to be here. Yeah I'm good. Thank you on good. It's ah we're recording this in late march it's it's been a pretty hectic start to the year but yeah all good's really exciting, really exciting time for for springboards.

00:40.75

philjstreet

Good, good good. Yeah I mean we'll definitely come onto that because it seems like there's quite a lot of activity flying around at the minute so I'm very excited to see what you've got going on and learn ah a little bit more about the plans, etc, etc. But so where are you recording today. Chris.

00:59.59

Chris Gamm

I'm at home in berkshire just outside reading so in in a place called kavissham really close to London we got ah, we've got an office in London so really good at quick access and into into town but we're based around the Uk as well. So pretty easy to get out and.

01:15.50

philjstreet

Fantastic. So I said at the head there that you're fairly late to the party with hospitality is that accurate because I'm just going by what I could read on your your Linkedin profile and other bits that I could find.

01:15.91

Chris Gamm

The same. Okay.

01:28.14

Chris Gamm

Yeah, my my hot hospitalityities bookend my my career I like like like many people I started at my first job was in hospitality aged.

01:31.82

philjstreet

Okay.

01:39.95

Chris Gamm

About 16 I would say I worked I grew up in South london I worked at my first job was at the ah local pizza hut restaurant and I got I got the full hospitality experience there I I started on the phones taking the orders then I moved on to I obviously did all right because I got ah got I moved onto the chopping up the pizzas and.

01:56.53

philjstreet

The.

01:58.54

Chris Gamm

Making sure the right drivers had the right is a delivery place so make sure the right drivers had the right pizzas and obviously did all right as well because like I became the ah the deputy to the the chef making the pizzas when he wasn't there. So I as the ah the pizza heart sous chef if you will. And yeah then I yeah did that for a couple of years then before I went to university I worked at.

02:11.00

philjstreet

Right.

02:18.28

Chris Gamm

Local software with a wine bar. Henry's wine by and bromley perhaps really good fun that was is is it did cocktails. So lots of of a really good ranger cocktails. You know, free pouring a bit theater that absolutely pump him well on ah on the weekend and then I did a bit of work in local pubs at university. And then I had a break from hospitality for but 15 years or so and I went into journalism worked to the press press association then I worked for the publishing house and there's sort of retail space and then sort of um I did so various different editor roles and then a recruiter I knew.

02:41.72

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

02:57.43

Chris Gamm

Looking for you know, a new editor for the cater and I loved I Loved hospitality who loved great restaurants. Loved nice hotels. Um, and it was yes is a brilliant role. It was. It was a really good fit. You know an industry that I love I was really passionate about doing a job that I am.

03:00.59

philjstreet

Yep.

03:15.89

Chris Gamm

Ah, that was pretty good at that enjoyed doing and and so yeah, um, it is just a really good fit. Yeah, the c was looking for some sort of lead their print print um, print products develop the digital lead their portfolio of events. They ran ah run about so 30 odd events a year things like Katie's acorn awards all sorts of different things. So yeah.

03:33.23

philjstreet

Yeah, so they at this. There's obviously ah, a big block there between from 1 bit of hospitality to another what what were you I suppose what were the skills that you developed in that period because as I'm always kind of quick to point out, especially in a time where.

03:33.46

Chris Gamm

Like in the hospitality industry now.

03:52.47

philjstreet

Finding people is one of the greatest challenges that the industry faces. We definitely need to be looking at people from other sectors. There's no question in my mind that that's one of the the ways that we can get this and for a long time I think hospitality has been quite rigid in its approach to to how it finds its people. But you spent quite a long time out and then came back in but ah, you know you've obviously learned a lot of skill in that time. What's what did what did I suppose being out of the industry bring to you before you kind of came back in.

04:25.25

Chris Gamm

Well Journalism. It's all about telling a really good story communicating ah ah, communicating a message well and clearly that people buy into and and understand and and so yeah and that's that's something I've certainly applied through through.

04:36.22

philjstreet

Now.

04:44.26

Chris Gamm

Throughout my career. You want you wanted to sell an idea and get people in it. Get people excited about it. But then yeah through to my current role at Spring wards. Um the common things throughout my career is they're about you know running a really good product delivering it really? Well, you know. Managing a good team leading a strong team delivering the operations making sure the finances stack up make sure you got really strong marketing message and and whether you're running a a magazine or a website or an event or a hospitality business. They're common Common Common thingses. Yeah.

05:15.95

philjstreet

The bones remain the same. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, well and ah and in actual fact, you know that that sats what you've just highlighted. There is kind of the pillars of business. Um, and you yeah, but then you've got I suppose the flip side of that is is you got to get passionate about what you're doing to be able to implement these things in um, in force as it were.

05:40.30

Chris Gamm

Yeah, definitely. But you know to your question about what do people bring from other industries. Yeah,, there's always new ideas and seeing how other industries do things and the benefit of you know, just Springbo we work with with young people at the moment and but for the benefit of bringing it. Ah, new generation into business. They they think completely differently. They're sort of motivated by different things. They're They're very sort of Tech Tech Techsavvy Tech Savvy Digital Savvy and it can be a whole new skill set bringing into your business. A new new way of thinking new way of appealing to a different audience.

06:10.60

philjstreet

Yeah, and you know that that whole generational change thing is ah is an inevitability isn't it of life. Um, you know we've we've got to um that I think have ah a lot of as older timers I Thought of. Really one of them. But anyway, um, you know you you can get stuck in your ways and you can you know this is the way It's always been done and all of these sorts of things but you know when did progress ever get made with that mentality.

06:36.21

Chris Gamm

Yeah, was ah ah ah, an event yesterday. It's ah it's called movement to work events. It's it's it's ah they're a charity and they have lots of big corporate businesses people like Bt or Mart and spencers or b a or all sorts of different organizations. And it's all about supporting young people into work and we had a ah Ceo summit yesterday. So lots of sort of business leaders took and we had roundtable discussions talking about how do you How do you make yourself really? How do you appeal to this generation the next generation and support their journey in and so. Discussed a whole range of different topics but things like ah hr systems. How do you How how do you make the ah hr process a bit more relevant to to to an audit to say if someone sees your brand on on Tiktok and and feels a blied you know feels the inspired to apply for a job with you and you say. Send in a cover letter. You know we want and we want you to fill in and 30 minutes filling in this application form and then they get no feedback at the end of it and and what's the experience like for for that generation. So it's a fascinating couple of hours discussing what what can we do to make ourselves a a lot more relevant. What can any business do to.

07:29.34

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

07:46.34

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

07:48.34

Chris Gamm

Be more relevant and more and appealing to a different generation who is probably not represented in your management team or in your like your the.

07:54.12

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah, yeah I know um, ah actually like fundamentally that comes back to marketing doesn't it that you who is your audience. It's the same principle as to who are we trying to bring into our business. Um, and if you know if there's a demographic and ah a certain specific.

08:06.00

Chris Gamm

Yeah.

08:12.85

philjstreet

And thing that you're looking for then go out and appeal to that specific person. Um.

08:17.41

Chris Gamm

Yes, absolutely, it's one of the things that count us be speaking on it on and on a panel last week at the Hrc event. It was the ep one zero one panel and someone made on the panel made that exact point you know brands will have these brilliant marketing teams who who who have this fantastic brand.

08:25.54

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

08:37.32

Chris Gamm

Voice that comes across in the in the restaurant or in the in the in the business in the marketing on social media. But then when it comes to the job advert. It's a completely different tone of voice and and and it and it doesn't feel like you're even the same the same organization and how can you get marketing involved in it.

08:44.19

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

08:55.63

Chris Gamm

In that aspect of attracting staff as well.

08:56.26

philjstreet

Yeah, but I suppose in some ways and I feel like we have definitely gone off on a tangent here, but that's cool. We're talking about relevant stuff so that's all right and in many ways it's this is all still quite new laard. So many new ways to attract.

09:01.54

Chris Gamm

Um, but.

09:14.50

philjstreet

People and I think ah you know we're probably all playing catch up with this still. Um you know I've definitely classified myself as being fairly tech savvy but I can't keep up with it and I I'm eminently aware that I sound exactly like my parents when I say that but so but yeah, it moves so quick. Yeah.

09:29.50

Chris Gamm

Absolutely yeah.

09:33.19

philjstreet

Great stuff. Okay, so back to story your story and you're at caterer how long were you with Catera for.

09:39.14

Chris Gamm

So that's with the cater for not ever such a long time but two and a half years um and yeah it's pretty brilliant. Brilliant couple of years. Loved it? Um, um, the pandemic and so yeah, we're we're delivering all sorts of all sorts of fantastic events. We'd relaunch the digital. Um, we launched a sort of the digital offer um pandemic struck and if they flip whole world on its heads. We you know we stopped printing the magazine because we're sending out thousands of copies to shut restaurants could run events flipped everything online and yeah responded.

10:00.36

philjstreet

Yeah.

10:19.00

Chris Gamm

You know, pretty well to to hat to the pandemic. Um, um, we saw a huge spike in the digital audience because people wanted information and they could trust you know they wanted us to know what's going on they wanted to know what's going on and and and how they could how other people were responding.

10:31.47

philjstreet

Yep.

10:36.32

philjstreet

I Think that was the thing wasn't it at the time I think everybody just needed to know that they weren't alone in the trouble and strife that was coming with it and you know and you know it's very easy I suppose especially in a ah news world.

10:38.40

Chris Gamm

What it meant what it meant to them.

10:43.90

Chris Gamm

Yes, yeah.

10:53.19

philjstreet

When the overriding story is one that's quite negative and it's having a negative impact on a lot of different things. Ah very difficult I would imagine to try and achieve balance in a time like that ah to bring some good news stories as well. But but I do remember you did try that was um. There There was definitely an element of what you were trying to achieve.

11:13.74

Chris Gamm

Yeah, is we've always got look for for a positive story as well to get to get balance and and people were doing an amazing job responding and and pivoting their business.. There was lots of innovation that came out of it and you know it was a it was a. Ah, terrible time for everyone. But there was there were definitely positive stories that came out of it and that's that's a big part of what we're trying to do at K Capture some of those inspiring stories as well. Um, but yeah, it was during a very doing a very strange time for the world. Um I. The caer. We'd always supported springboards with with raise money for them raise money you know, raise money for their events. Maybe they've been the charity of choice and and that's actually where this switch to my current role came about we were supporting their Covid sort of supplier fundraiser appeal and I've been I've been talking to.

11:57.28

philjstreet

Yep.

12:10.39

Chris Gamm

Um, sort of the the alistair and the board there and then Anne and Anne announced she was she was she was she surprised us all when she announced she was retiring after twenty odd years and and it all.

12:18.35

philjstreet

Yeah I yeah actually had lined up a podcast chat with her and the day before we were supposed to record she announced her retirement I was like oh Wow Yeah, like felt like I was getting an exclusive.

12:30.70

Chris Gamm

Yeah I remember hearing it when right right? She was one of the first pb spaces it wasn't I remember listening to it when it when it came out and yeah, that was and 1 thing led to another and here I am today eighteen months later

12:35.58

philjstreet

That.

12:42.86

philjstreet

Yeah, and you know no less of a ah challenge as opposed to take over in that moment as well. When the world was still turned upside down but also to take over from somebody who'd been you know associated with the company for so long was it. A little bit like taken over from sir Alex Ferguson at man united

13:03.12

Chris Gamm

Ah, it was oh well. Luckily I'd done the same at the cater. So Amanda and Mark had been there for yeah decades between them and they had a huge amount of service they they were so well known everyone everyone knew and loved them and it was exactly the same at springboard and. Yeah, hadn't been there for for for twenty odd years as well and it was is so synonymous with the charity and that yes it's big, big shoes to fill in both both roles.

13:31.79

philjstreet

But then you know I suppose that's it's well it's like anybody taking over from Alex or Alex Ferguson at man you know age, you've got to put your own spin on things you can't try and emulate. What's come before you've got to move with the times move the direction and. You know and I suppose take it forward from there.

13:52.35

Chris Gamm

Yeah, and it was it was one of the few things that that positive things have come from the the last couple of years is it does it makes you stop and and and really think about what are the core things you do? What are the things you do really? well and what the and and and. And I think any organization over time is is guilty of moving in different directions and and moving away from the core purpose and and and and covid's certainly got this the springboard team sort of. Just before I joined and in in in the process mejo I joined in August Twenty Twenty so yeah know reasonably close to the beginning of the pandemic. Um, yeah, um, but it's certainly got springwater to focus on what is the what's its core purpose. What what was it set up to do what the things that.

14:27.10

philjstreet

Great timing.

14:40.68

Chris Gamm

If we can't do everything anymore. What the core things we we really must do and um and do really well and I think by focusing on fewer things. You can you can do them really well and and and that's certainly something that's um, when I joined in that in that sense in August Twenty Twenty meant we could rewrite the strategy. So what? what are our core 3 goals the next eighteen months we sort just come to the end of that now. Um, um, what do we? honor? what? what are we gonna what we gonna set up to achieve who are we gonna help um and and I hope we responded brilliantly to that. Um, eighteen months on we we. So we just come to the end of that strategy last week we we did a strategy session with the team focusing on the next two years and 1 of the key things that came out of it is just to remind ourselves that you can't do everything and we've got really try and again refocus on what what the core things of the next two years because we don't want to go with it. We don't want to.

15:29.95

philjstreet

Yeah.

15:39.37

Chris Gamm

Try and take on 2 minutes too much and and do do too many things half as well as as we could do.

15:42.86

philjstreet

Yeah I suppose that's the rest rate you you spur yourself too thinly and then nothing gets done properly. Um as it were Yeah, we've all got experience of that for sure. Um, and yeah and I suppose that the the positive side of Covid was. Giving everybody at least that was able to ride things out a moment in time to reset foundations I suppose and and really look at as you've just said what what are we doing? Where does it sit versus what we're trying to achieve what do we need to lose what do we need to bring in. And all of these sorts of things so you know there's definitely some some positives to take forward.

16:24.34

Chris Gamm

ng project called springwater:

16:53.73

philjstreet

Yeah.

17:02.80

Chris Gamm

Fundraise to to um to to achieve that we got a brilliant lead partner in the boy educational trust who helped really kick things off for us and and a couple of other fantastic partners in people at Patsa story and and Diggio and and and barkelay's and Trusthouse Charitable foundation and and lots of many other. Many other partners and it meant we could then grow the business grow the organization back up so we were able to recruit the team to deliver that but within this new structure. This new. Um this this new operational structure and we've made the yeah brilliant progress with that.

17:35.27

philjstreet

Yeah, sort the goal of:

17:40.45

Chris Gamm

Yes, it so it was it was a is a 2 wo-year project really? um, starting when though we there were met meant businesses were still shut when we started and.

17:53.84

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

17:56.15

Chris Gamm

be. Very close to of just hit:

18:12.19

philjstreet

Brilliant 1

18:29.82

Chris Gamm

So Springboard delivers Employability training courses for for unemployed people to give them the skills to launch their career and then we help them find a great job at the end of it. So Some of it is through our training courses some of it is through other partners other similar organizations who we're working with and we might be promoting one another's. Courses if they're if they're in the location. We're not or ah running a course at a time when we're not, we're supporting one another. It's um, through things like kickstart we're We're a big Kickstar Gateway Employer. We've supported just over 800 people into into roles in in hospitality and and we're supporting some of that wraparound training. Um.

18:51.33

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

19:06.40

Chris Gamm

True to I mean even today um someone in the team told me that we're working with mighty and they run lots of testing centers those testing centers are coming to an end so there's going to be lots of people looking for jobs in hospitality. So they're using our careeroscope provision. Um to we launch careerreoscope right? at the start of the.

19:19.39

philjstreet

Excellent.

19:24.97

Chris Gamm

year and a half on from that:

19:38.38

philjstreet

Fantastic.

19:38.90

Chris Gamm

Kickstart their hospitality career and so all these mighty stuff are you have been using career scope and getting jobs at the end of it which is brilliant in the industry.

19:44.41

philjstreet

Yeah, absolutely, that's brilliant and what you you mentioned supporting people into work just give us a little bit more on what you also talked about courses. But for those of people out there who don't understand what you do fully. How do you support people.

19:58.67

Chris Gamm

Yeah, so we it's that it's the a huge our work is split across so 3 areas one is our employability courses.

20:03.17

philjstreet

And to work.

20:12.88

Chris Gamm

1 is a careers in education activity in schools and colleges things like our future chef competition. But also it might be careers hubs and then one is careers services and that's things like career scope. But that first part which is you know quite ah or a very very significant part of what we do so employability training courses. And support. We're supporting young and disadvantaged people who are unemployed and they could be unemployed for um and any number any number of reasons but that typically they face like a couple of barriers to employment. It could be um, they they might have a. Made redundant and they're struggling to find work through to they could have experienced a care system or be a refugee or could have have a criminal conviction but all sorts of different. You know all sorts of different um combinations. Um, but yeah, they.

20:52.74

philjstreet

Right.

21:02.99

Chris Gamm

Assess every one of every person we work with and and and really understand what it is what what are those barriers they're facing and some will be and it's something we're certainly seeing off the back of the pandemic they they might be closer to the to the job market. They just need a bit of support a bit of bit of help pointing in the right direction through to them could be quite far from the job market. So um, people typically go through a course it could be an in from a week for those that quite close to the job market through to six weeks six to eight weeks for those who are appear a bit further away and it's ah it's ah an an employability or a pre-employability course with teaching them soft skills that could be confidence. Could be and helping them get work ready time. It could even be timekeeping or getting in the work mindset with and it could be um, some cv support. You know it could be an interview practice. It could be someone that's never had ah you know if they've been in ah in a role for 20 years and and been made redundant. They might.

21:45.30

philjstreet

Yeah.

22:00.52

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

22:00.80

Chris Gamm

Not written a cv in years or so it could it's it's all down to the individual and what they need it could be so there'll be soft skills. There'll be some hard industry skills things like customer service things like Health Health and safety etc. Some hospitality specific training. Using flow flows our partner and then um, a workplacement so we we would we work with um, all sorts of different um sort of partners in the industry. Um through to it could be small local businesses that have just got ah got a job vacancy. The're recruiting at the moment and so yeah, a big part of what we do is is supporting our trainees into work at the end of it. That's that's why we do it? Um, we'd love them to work in hospitality with love and to work to to and to stay in the industry and it's a big It's a big focus of the courses we get them out to go and see.

22:43.63

philjstreet

Yeah.

22:55.47

Chris Gamm

Businesses we get guest speakers from within the industry. We've got big network of ambassadors I think you're one of them Phil. So we've got 900 ambassadors and it could be an into just coming in saying a few words on 1 of our courses to to inspire people into um to stay within the industry and we we typically get about 70% of our trainees into work in hospitality. We want to get them all into work and we will never force someone to come into hospitality. But that's certainly our ah goal.

23:17.42

philjstreet

Of course, yeah, you know, but it's the old horse to water analogy isn't it. Um, you know you're giving them the tools I suppose just from a pure humanity Perspective. You're giving them ah a better chance of success. Whatever that success looks like to them. They've got to go figure it out for themselves I suppose.

23:36.81

Chris Gamm

Hundred percent and um, you know 1 of our trainees did is never worked before it is literally never worked. Um, he went to a course quite recently. And yeah, he's he faced. You know some pretty pretty big challenges in life and someone in our team has has been mentoring him. They're been supporting him for for for many months I mean we'll typically support a training for twelve months after after the finished of course that could be years that we're supporting them and he's just a big part of it is finding the the employer at the end of it. Who's gonna be a perfect fit for that individual because you know we believe that every single person we work with there's there's a there's a right role and a right company out there for them and it's just not farm that perfect match. We've got a job they're loving it and um and it's yeah, it's really It's really inspiring there. That's that's why we do what we do and and it's in.

24:19.10

philjstreet

Yeah.

24:31.15

Chris Gamm

When when you hear those stories it. It warms the heart when you can find the the right. Love.

24:31.78

philjstreet

Yeah I couldn't agree more I mean did know it's um I think what you guys do is is fantastic. Um, and yeah I'm not actually an official ambassador. Although that's gonna yeah I know.

24:44.79

Chris Gamm

Oh sign you up.

24:49.72

philjstreet

So I've made a rod for my own back there but I will always shout about you guys till the cows come home. You know I have ah a soft spot for for springboard.

24:55.40

Chris Gamm

Oh absolutely yeah I like I'd say you are an ambassador I mean that's I mean I'll I'll do a bit of a plug for ambassador scheme. We. We welauned it end of last year is free to is free to sign up. Um, we've got we. We've got nine hundreds ambassadors at the moment just like yeah around 900 active ambassadors and um, it used to be. We'd ask people. It's quite formal. We'd ask people to go and deliver a career session in a school or also or it might be judging future chef now we just asked for 3 bits of ambassador activity per ambassador and it could just be coming along and doing it. Ah, you're mocking to of 1 of our trainees or just promoting it helping promote us you know bang the drum on social media or it could be yeah going doing a career session in school or coming and doing a day's judging for us at future chef and and so in that sense I'd absolutely would say that your you know you? huge huge supporter of what we do feel.

25:47.35

philjstreet

There No absolutely and I will continue to be and I'm happy to formalize that arrangement as well. If um.

25:54.37

Chris Gamm

That took took to all your listeners. Yeah gun sign up is free to sign up and you get you get access to sort of some some training for how how how you can do this and access to a flow training. So yeah, ah yeah I'd love it if if all your listeners could volunteer a little bit of time is what we asked to.

26:11.80

philjstreet

Yeah, but you know I think it can be 1 of the saviors of hospitality in terms of making it more a career of choice for people is just getting more and more people who work in the industry to go out and tell their stories and to to demonstrate all of the wonderful things that.

26:11.99

Chris Gamm

Support our mission.

26:30.84

philjstreet

That you know people get up to in this this industry and it's you know it's There's an infinite amount of things that people get up to as I'm learning as that the more conversations I have with this and a lot of the conversations I have with people off Microphone. You know at the stuff that you could never ever share in the public domain. Um, for if you want some real real fun. Um, but I think actually that was but that in itself can be a massive building. What could we do to? This wasn't a question on your um on your sheet so this is just completely off the cuff. But what could we do to tell the world. How. Awesome. Hospitality is.

27:10.12

Chris Gamm

I think I was thinking it before you even asked a question just as you're as you're as you're talking, but it has to be a yeah, springboard's got a massive role to play and promote. This is what we do promote the industry to the next generation and and attract people into it but in order for it to to really change. Um.

27:20.45

philjstreet

Um, yeah.

27:29.24

Chris Gamm

And to really address that like we are, there's no two ways about it. We're facing a huge staffing challenge alongside many other industries at the moment but to really make it ah an industry of choice. Really attractive. Everyone has to be involved. It has to be like a huge team effort and businesses individuals. You know. I was um, there's a big skills event. Um, it knows skills week earlier this month and I got sent out a um, a pack on national national skills week talking about um to parents and to young people about what they should consider as their as their um. Their next step and um if when you looked at who was in there. It's like people like Amazon or jagu or bt or the army or the Navy and all these organizations and and hospitality there was there was no mention of hospitality in there and um. And and it got me hinting that oh. What How's an industry. Do we do do we get? Um, um, more part of the conversation and we're doing lows that for springboard already. We've created a careers advisor hub to give ah career careers advisors all the tools to run a hospitality careers. That's because I I couldn't find anything any evidence of this anywhere before.

28:40.49

philjstreet

Right.

28:42.60

Chris Gamm

Created and and hospital apprenticeship. Um, ah, hub with all the information for some to consider ah an apprenticeship you know people like Mark Mccullo's doing a great job around hospitality rising and as a campaign to promote it There's Sally Beck's doing a great job around the hotelier charter about getting hotels involved. There's there's lots of pockets of um of activity to rate to raise the profile to raise the standards of the industry to to make it a career of choice. But when you go back to that national careers week. It wasn't there wasn't a central body saying come and work in. Automative industry or come and work in the military. It was. It was individual organizations who were shouting really loud and and promote and and being spokespeople for those industries so in answer your question There's lots. There's lots of really positive things happening really positive activity. Can always be more I think it does come down to individuals and and the organizations to um, take a stand and and and promote and promote what you do.

29:37.56

philjstreet

Yeah.

29:42.84

philjstreet

Yeah, and of course you know the the flip side of that is is that everybody's gone and got themselves damn busy again and you know making time to to do these things but perhaps goes down the list of priorities but it it shouldn't because you know what this is. Every one of our responsibility I believe and I definitely don't want to turn this podcast into a rant. But um, you know if you keep leaving it for other people to take care of then nothing will ever get done or we'll have as you say pockets of activity and and don't get me wrong everything that's going on at the moment is excellent and it's massive steps. In the right direction. My feeling has always been and this is this comes don't let my accent put you off when I say this but it comes back to a brave heart line about unite the clans we can sometimes be a little bit kind of all, go off and do our own thing but actually if we if we come. And unite and it definitely feels like that's there's more of that happening now than there was 2 3 four years ago um then together you know we're we're a massive industry and a massive body of people to get behind this but it needs every person who's engaged with this industry. Whatever level you know up down and actually one of the things that I think it was Robin Hutton did the seat at the table campaign last year or the year before whenever it was all the years merged into one now and what I loved about that was is that he took some students or some. Junior members of his team and and I suppose uptrained them into ah marketing skills basically and getting this message out and about and you know it's it's I don't know it's there's probably not a one solution. Answer to this but I think the the 1 thing that can underline everything is collaboration and unity that was 2 things actually wasn't it but there were.

31:39.88

Chris Gamm

Yeah, the death and in and I completely agree that everyone is super busy at the moment like it's never felt busy than is there is right now? Um, but you have to make the time to to do this. You can't as he said you can't we we can't all expect someone else to do it and.

31:48.26

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

31:58.89

Chris Gamm

And it is going to make you know one of the things that came across with with kickstart. So we're kickstart Gateway employer. So we're the we're the middleman between the Dwp the job centers that have the pools of unemployed people who want jobs and the employers who've got the jobs and the thing that we found.

32:12.10

philjstreet

Yeah.

32:18.59

Chris Gamm

Was the employers who took the time out to go to their local job center to talk the individuals to to get them excited about about their businesses to to to sell hospitality as the industry and them as an employer and to build a connection with those those young people were the ones who. Had the best result and and and and filled the most jobs those who said oh I'm just so busy. You know with you know, understandably, we're and we're short-staffed and we the busiest we've ever been in in the last year ah can't make the time to it hired less people through this game and.

32:47.69

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah, checking an egg. Yeah, but you could I think it could also and I'm definitely guilty of this. You could.

32:55.91

Chris Gamm

And it's it's a catch 22 but yeah you have you have to make the time to to to tackle the problem as well.

33:06.31

philjstreet

Definitely ah, convince yourself into a state of mind um about you know like it just becomes a preconditioned answer to everything. How are you very busy. Um you know and you've got to to just and Covid actually give us the great opportunity to snap away from.

33:16.89

Chris Gamm

And.

33:26.00

philjstreet

Kind of you know, head down crack on mentality which I'm not saying that we should move away from but I completely agree with you making time to broaden your own horizons towards something makes you know mix for a much better picture in the future.

33:42.11

Chris Gamm

For sure.

33:44.70

philjstreet

Yeah, that was ranty wasn't it that was quite a ah rant. But anyway, no intention to do that? Um I'm gonna um I'm gonna come back to springboard now. Um, that's little bit more softer questions now around around that.

33:49.45

Chris Gamm

Feel. Yeah.

34:00.77

philjstreet

And this is actually a question that I I did ask and when she came on so I'm gonna ask you as well. And yeah, and if you could put on your dream event. No holds bard. You know, no budget.

34:03.89

Chris Gamm

I Hope I it as well.

34:17.13

philjstreet

Real problems or anything like that. What would it be I'm talking about a fundraising event here. Yes, or I should be clear on that.

34:20.73

Chris Gamm

Has to treat you on fundraising event. Oh that's a really tough one but we've got I mean we've got our awards next week is any your it's only a week away and it's it's it's a fantastic event. It's that they we've got ri.

34:35.71

philjstreet

And sold out.

34:39.23

Chris Gamm

Sold out exactly were a brilliant new venue at the site illuminate at the Science Museum we've got fantastic hosts and adddia depitan we've got some um ah brilliant sponsors. Some brilliant winners. It's really, it's it's it's really in it's gonna be an inspiring event. Um. That's the tough one Phil who we knows we're we one like weve done such. We've done some fantastic fundraisers already things like we did a virtual race where we got I mean that was that was brilliant. We did that last year when we couldn't do um, ah um, and and we couldn't get out do actual fundrais actual fundraising events. So we're sort of.

34:57.91

philjstreet

I appreciate I've completely.

35:17.58

Chris Gamm

Locked away and we did ah we did a virtual race where we got teams of 30 to each each take part and and and race together as a team to it was a virtual race to to Nepal and and we did ah and you had to complete the five Thousand odd miles and people really loved it because they were you know getting together and they were sort of building Whatsapp's group Whatsapp group and and sharing their progress and theres brilliant. Ah brilliant team spirits. So we'll gonna be doing something similar again this year oh I don't know the answer your question for for my dream fundraiser I suppose something that just brings people together that um, that is that that it sort of that inspires them and and that's a good example because it was.

35:56.29

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

35:56.30

Chris Gamm

Actually got people together as teams and got them working together and built some real camaraderie you know in a difficult time while also raising a fantastic erase I think about you know I think it's about seventy eighty thousand pounds for springboards. It's a fantastic, really fantastic result. So yes I can that that I'd say.

36:11.60

philjstreet

Yeah, not ah, that's um, no, that's fair enough and I and actually I completely agree with you I mean yeah, that's kind of a win win Win Win win scenario because you are, you're getting people to come together and work together for a.

36:13.86

Chris Gamm

Don't know what then what the next one could be but I've I've got keeping kept on.

36:30.52

philjstreet

For a bigger goal I'll let I'll let you weigh with that. That's that's absolutely fine. Um, no problem at all and from your actually I'm gonna I'm gonna bring this up and I don't know if this is gonna be a I shouldn't be bringing this up or whatever but I have to talk about pantomime.

36:47.55

Chris Gamm

Yes, and it's it's a tricky one because everyone I and ah I know you've been in the Pan farm Everyone who's been in it in the past loves it and it was spike really fondly of it. It was just ah, it was such an enormous.

36:50.15

philjstreet

Any chance in the future.

37:07.13

Chris Gamm

Um, Efforts to put on and and during the pandemic it was. It was unfortunately not not possible with the team we had we We only have ah um, one events person. We were not able to and just didn't have the resource to deliver it. It was It was a It was a huge effort like who knows I think I did.

37:21.61

philjstreet

Yeah.

37:26.39

Chris Gamm

A couple of people were said they they wanted to. They're interested in in in doing it and I and ah and I I offered to so um, gift the pantomime to them and support them in in running it in in running it themselves. But I think anything ever came of that. So.

37:43.90

philjstreet

Okay, well is a watches space. It's not. It's not gone and forgotten it's um, it's still yeah, a hundred percent appreciate what a body of work it is. It's you know it's a body of work for the individual individuals involved. Let alone.

37:44.10

Chris Gamm

Um.

37:59.50

philjstreet

What resource it must pull away from from you guys on a day-to-day basis.

37:59.85

Chris Gamm

got this huge project to get:

38:25.63

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah, no, that's that's completely fair I'll I'll let you away with that one as well. That's fine. The um I still have it in my and my head. Yeah, so this is turning into a tough interview for you isn't it. Ah okay, um, well back to a question that hopefully this was on the pre.

38:32.20

Chris Gamm

3 top did Phil.

38:44.73

Chris Gamm

Fit.

38:45.12

philjstreet

Guest sheet. So hopefully you've had some time to think about this? Um, but any any funny stories from your career so far that you would care to share with us.

38:53.20

Chris Gamm

Yeah I thought I was been thinking about this and I think that is a bit of a toughie as well. I mean probably the the funniest story I've had was actually getting the um of joining springboard in the middle of a national lockdown. So I remember going for the interview is at the Mandreinoria. Oriental hotel in London and um is in April national everyone was too scared to even leave leave their houses for more than one one once a day at that point so getting on the train going into London being the only but only person on ah on a train that's not that I was used to having thousands of people on.

39:19.81

philjstreet

Yeah.

39:31.65

Chris Gamm

Walking through Hyde Park it being a ghost town going into a shut hotel with cloths all over the the furniture that was it was well not half half funny. It was ah it was pretty bizarre time and then and then joining an organization where you you literally could not meet your colleagues and and and everyone everyone was trapped at home and.

39:47.10

philjstreet

Yeah.

39:51.39

Chris Gamm

Got teams all around the yeah Uk and and you know even up until recently there's people on the team that I've only met a couple of times or only met in a handful of times is's is it's you got a laugh for it here because it's's it has been a strange old world out there. A very strange time to join an organization when you couldn't really sort get to know the. Culture and you know and and get to get to get to meet your colleagues but it yes it's it's over over the past eighteen months I certainly like you know we were seeing a lot more of each other now.

40:13.90

philjstreet

Yeah.

40:21.51

philjstreet

Yeah, no absolutely and general puts you in a very small collection of people really in the Grand scheme of things who have that experience you know I almost feel like I should have changed jobs just to get that experience. Um, you know. Ah, because it's It's a new set of skills that you would have had to have been asked to Learn. Um you know because yeah, how do you come in and lead an organization when you've not actually physically met the people in front of you.

40:50.24

Chris Gamm

We had. We had a um springboard springboard board meeting last week and um, we've got relatively new boards with 12 trustees and we we meet quarterly. Um, it's all been via Zoom to this point we tried to. Meet in person a couple of times but then they'd always. They'd always spring a a lockdown or an oomicron wave would come our way and we met yeah last week for the first for the first time we managed to get everyone in the same room at the same time and actually see one another and and um, yeah, it's it's it's.

41:13.71

philjstreet

Yeah.

41:27.32

Chris Gamm

And it's worked really well up to this point it? um and it's been amazing. How resource everyone has been but it's it's it's still nice when you get to do things properly in the flesh.

41:35.52

philjstreet

Yeah, simple things here and and that's ah I mean that's kind of the whole reason why hospitality exists is to give people these moments to experience each other. Um, good.

41:41.89

Chris Gamm

Happening um rest as well. We wrote for a good bit of hospitality afterwards. We went out for a and a nice meal and a and a glass of wine to continue that.

41:52.82

philjstreet

Great but well that's actually when the best stories happen over meals and glasses of wine. But anyway, that's for a different time and what's um, a couple more questions for I let you get when you're made away. But um, what does the the the next sort of twelve months have in store for for springboard.

42:11.94

Chris Gamm

target to hit for springwater:

43:05.88

philjstreet

No.

43:09.32

Chris Gamm

Future chef building on the careers hubs um, um, that we've been running so career sessions building on those I mentioned that we've developed the the careers advisor sort of um, support support resource center. So yeah, put pulling all these together and with some some pretty big um targets. Then yeah, just continuing continuing what we've been doing for the past twelve months raising the profile of hospitality. We've been doing lots of sort of marketing of things like career scope. Um, and you had lots lots of activity around around that so just building on these.

43:40.78

philjstreet

Yeah, but I don't mean that you that all comes back to I suppose one of the first things you you did was to reset the foundations and you know and focus on doing. Some core things really really well and just it sounds like you're cementing that and then on the back of that will put you in a much better place to be able to branch sideways and upwards and all of these things.

44:01.69

Chris Gamm

is hitting that hitting that:

45:01.25

philjstreet

For sure. Yeah, do So do you have a tikock account then yeah, not you? Yeah, you're not there yet.

45:08.10

Chris Gamm

ing. There's support. There's:

46:31.41

philjstreet

Yeah.

46:40.74

Chris Gamm

Do a lot of Tiktok marketing for kreoscope the thing the thing is they feel is um, is that we use a brilliant agency. It's sort of like a paid always on always on marketing and and they would.

46:41.46

philjstreet

Fantastic I feel that I'm good have to go and have a look at that. No I am.

46:57.32

Chris Gamm

Targeting specific demographics so you know people of of a certain age group who who show an interest in a hospitality that they might follow certain brands and they're in certain locations and and it's all very clever using certain algorithms but unfortunately for you and I we don't meet one of the key criteria there in that we're. Of of that demographic that we're looking to target so I never actually see the ads which is a good thing because they're not They're not targeted at at me. But I have to get the team to show me what what we're doing because you don't you don't often see them popping up on Facebook or and on Instagram or Tiktokck but they they are great though. they're fantastic they're really they're brilliant pretty

47:17.14

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

47:29.84

philjstreet

Yeah I once. Great, yeah well at the um I got told once not that long ago that as a child of Facebook um, I'm effectively an old man. Um, because it's for old men or old people certainly and old being 40 plus by the way.

47:35.77

Chris Gamm

Creatives We use a great agency to do that.

47:48.52

Chris Gamm

And.

47:54.17

philjstreet

Ah, but there we are so um, great. Well I what would be your your top 3 reasons as to to why somebody should come into the world of hospitality.

48:05.00

Chris Gamm

Top three? Well it's set I mean look these are I think they they they're well-known as sorts like like sort of the key selling points industry but it's it's fun. It's a really fun industry and it's certainly it's certainly not ah, not a boring industry where you're gonna be. You know, stuck behind a job.. You're gonna meet you spend time with great people and have ah have a have a a really good team spirit and have a real laugh doing it and that's like certainly setting Ive experience Throughout. You know I spoke about the beginning of my career in hospitality. Um, secondly, you're gonna learn lots of. Brilliant transferable skills that kind of that kind of take you through you know, whatever you end up doing you know wherever you end up going in in your in your career in Hospitality. You're going to learn to and it ended whichever part of Hospitality. You're working In. You're going to learn to um. Sell you're gonna learn to Negotiate. You're gonna learn to you learn marketing skills. You're gonna learn to make make decisions to problem solve and these are ah brilliant life skills that are gonna take you a long way and I'll say thirdly that I think there's um is certainly an industry that offers.

49:08.80

philjstreet

Absolutely.

49:17.57

Chris Gamm

Um, progression and the ability to join and ah write the um on the on the first first rung of the ladder and very quickly progress and very quickly get promoted and take on more responsibility and earn a brilliant salary and and. It's again, it's another chicken egg because I think that Gen Ed and the younger generation aren't motivated by hey what's my career for life going to look like they want they they want to the the thing that I'm certainly seeing at the moment is they don't even want to work 1 job five days a week they want to do something for a couple of days something else for for two days and and um, not everyone is gonna be motivated by the idea of the joint hospitality. These are the these these are your steps as you work up through the system. But for for those that are or those that um you know do want to earn a really good salary and do want it to be promoted and move into management.

50:01.28

philjstreet

Yeah.

50:11.85

Chris Gamm

Hospitalizing a hundred percent and offer that and and offer it quickly as well in a couple of years you can um you know, really really develop and grow.

50:18.82

philjstreet

Absolutely and and I think that to that point around the the kind of the multitude of you looking to dip into different things I definitely think the hospitality will be able to adapt to that in certain areas of the the business and um, yeah, you. Over the course of a 2 year period in this industry, you could do I mean what 10 different roles if you're with the right company and you'll take your time to figure out the thing that really drives you? um.

50:45.46

Chris Gamm

Yeah, and and that that's that's another reason I suppose there's a fourth reason. The bonus reason is that you know and when I look back to those kickstar events you know kickstar and we we we I was at a kickstart event at the Olympic stadium.

50:54.80

philjstreet

Yeah, yeah.

51:04.20

Chris Gamm

And there's all sorts of different industries all sorts of different employees from architects to you know, sports brands there and we had a few of our hospitality employers there and and thousands of young people were coming in and and and. There were dwp staff saying what do you want to do what? what? you know? what? What? what? you? what you here for what are you looking for and people say oh I want to go work in h child I'd want to go in people weren't necessarily coming and thinking oh I want to go into hospitality so I was ah because they're in their mind they might they're thinking that might be you know. A service or a back of house or a front-of house role. But when when when us's going and checked them and they're saying like oh yeah, I'd really like to get into um technology or I it and ah and I saying well hey look we've got thousands of. Ah t roles and in hospitality or they might be thinking. Oh I no I want to get into marketing or events or or all these different you know, most sectors are are covered within within within hospitality alongside sort of typical sorts service roles or. Kitchen rolls and there's yeah, there's so many exciting opportunities. Whatever wherever wherever you want to go whatever you want to do and however you want to develop you can certainly do that within this industry.

52:18.61

philjstreet

Yeah, I'm going talk to as many people as you can from within the industry as well because the you know the information you might be getting from people outside of the industry might not be ah the truth the you know the reality of the the situation I'm actually working on a ah talk at the moment. Ah, but the the headline title is purely forget everything you think you know and it's it's to try and snap people out of just you know this is the way I think and this is the this is my expectation of the world and this is all of that sort of thing because I think you know you can go and make up your own mind on things. You don't need. Um, all of the external influences that um that you're kind of I suppose through your childhood you you get? Yes, don't ignore them but go and seek other viewpoints as well. Um, it's my way to save humanity Chris um.

53:08.29

Chris Gamm

Yeah, definitely a life kit.

53:17.53

philjstreet

Great, Okay, well I mean if if people want to ah reach out to you and and learn more about springboard or you ensure the fact about what you're doing. What's the best method for them to do that.

53:26.93

Chris Gamm

And drop me an email it's it's chris g at springboard http://uk.org.uk or you can follow me on Twitter I'm springboard Ceo on Twitter I on Linkedin and yeah. Come and find us look look take a look at the springboard website. There's probably everything you need to know on there and if you want us from signing up as ah as a springboard ambassador through to um, wanting to get involved in 1 of our programs or. Through to even just maybe even just supporting our work donating. It's all it's all there on the website. Um come insane. Yeah, sounds like it.

53:58.58

philjstreet

Great stuff and your Tiktok account is coming soon I assume it'll be coming soon for a long time. Fun fantastic! Well no I yeah massively appreciate your time man I think what you guys continues what you guys are doing continues to be. Amazing and and absolutely essential for for the industry and beyond to be honest, so I salute you and wish you all the very best with your day slash month slash year ahead.

54:28.77

Chris Gamm

Yeah, same to you? Thank you for having me and you're doing a great job of Brit bringing industry together. So keep up with your work and thanks for having me.

54:36.70

philjstreet

Fantastic! Thanks! Very much Chris jeers.