Happy young worker employed in a hotel kitchen carrying food
Area of action

Youth employment

Our future generations have an enormous potential to help drive global economic growth. Hotels can offer the opportunity for young people from every background to earn a decent living.

Our impact

Youth employment and the hospitality industry

Over one in five young people globally are not in education, employment or training leaving them at high risk of poverty and exploitation.1 The recent Covid-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse, with more than one in six young people losing their work as a result of the crisis.2 Not only is the pandemic destroying their employment, but it is also disrupting education and training, and holding back those seeking to enter the labour market or move between jobs.

With an achievable entry level, hotels can offer young people from every background the opportunity to earn a decent living, which can often lead to fulfilling, life-long careers. Tourism and hospitality are recognised as important drivers of economic growth and job opportunities – accounting for 1 in 4 of all new jobs created across the world in the last five years.3

The skills developed within a hotel are not only transferable within the industry, but give a solid foundation for any number of other career opportunities. These employment opportunities are vitally important to reduce young people’s vulnerability but also enable the development of skilled and motivated workers to support future security and prosperity of economies and communities around the world.

We commit to give young people, especially those at risk of poverty and exploitation, the opportunity to build a better future through employability programmes.
Find out more
A group of young girls being trained on how to prepare food in a hotel kitchen.

Youth employment programme

Giving vulnerable young people the opportunity to develop the skills and experience in hospitality to start a career.

Background to our work in youth employment

The hospitality industry has worked to develop training programmes on skills development, entrepreneurship, leadership and career progression to offer long-term and credible career opportunities for young people. We have supported several of our members in the development of their own individual employability programmes.

We are also able to bring together the industry to create opportunities at scale for young people. Since 2004 we have been working with the hospitality industry and local partners to offer a youth employment programme, which helps young people from restrictive backgrounds to access training and practical experience in hospitality.

What we are doing

Convening the industry
  • Our youth working group brings our members together to share expertise and identify ways the hospitality industry can address youth unemployment.
Practical action
  • Our youth employment programme is operational in four countries around the world. The programme works with the hospitality industry to give young people the opportunity to gain the skills and experience to take the first step in their career.
  • We have developed an accessible training curriculum that’s transferable for a career in any hotel in the industry and beyond. This includes skills relevant to hospitality, as well as a solid base in English, computer skills, budgets and job applications to give young people the skills to recognise and secure decent work.
Building a movement
  • We raise awareness of youth unemployment as a global challenge and encourage the hospitality industry to take a role in providing a solution, either through their own youth employability initiatives or by participating in our youth employment programme.
Global partnerships for sustainable development
  • We are partnering with philanthropic foundations, government-funded bodies and the corporate sector to run hospitality employment programmes aimed at supporting young people including survivors of human trafficking, refugees and people with disabilities.

Partner with us

Become a partner

We work with hospitality companies, governmental institutions, non-profits and other partners to support youth employment across the global hospitality sector.