Youth employment programme

Enabling young people to build a better future through hospitality training
  • 6000+

    young people have graduated

  • 200+

    hotels have taken part in our programme

  • 4

    countries participating in our programme

  • 15 years'

    experience running youth employment programmes

Youth unemployment is a global challenge

Why we are doing this

Between now and 2030, 25 million more young people will enter the labour force with enormous potential to lead productive and enriched lives and help drive global economic growth.1 Yet today, one-in-five young people are not in employment, education or training, leaving them at high risk of poverty and exploitation.2

The global pandemic has made the situation even worse, with young people being disproportionately impacted through loss of employment and disrupted education and progression.

Hospitality as a solution

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on millions of lives and communities all over the world, and further increased youth unemployment. The hospitality industry can play an important role in helping people to recover.

With jobs starting from an achievable level, hospitality can offer opportunities for young people from restrictive backgrounds across the world. It is one of the few industries where entry-level opportunities can often lead to fulfilling, life-long careers, while also providing a solid foundation of sought-after skills for jobs in other industries.

Young people who are more likely to start their careers in stable, satisfactory employment are those who have relevant education and training.3

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

About this programme

Through our unique partnership with leading hotel companies, we offer a training programme that gives young people personal skills development and practical experience in a hotel and related places of work.

Who we are helping

We focus specifically on supporting young people, aged 18-24, who have faced a wide range of barriers, including people from low income families, those living without parental care, survivors of human trafficking, refugees and people living with disabilities.

Our programme ensures that local young people develop the skills and experience to gain and sustain employment across many industries, while also creating skilled and motivated workers from within the community who have relevant training to fill the staffing needs of the sector.

A group of young girls being trained on how to prepare food in a hotel kitchen. Our youth employment programme, in partnership with GFEMS, aims to support survivors of human trafficking gain the skills and experience they need to start a rewarding and lifelong career.

Programme model

Our industry-endorsed programme operates a flexible delivery model, consisting of:

  • Classroom training. Our local implementing partners are responsible for delivering 100 hours of soft skills training for the students, focusing on English language, hospitality and life skills using our curriculum.
  • Hands-on training. We work with member and non-member local hotels and related places of work to provide practical training, for example housekeeping, kitchen and F&B departments. This training can be delivered across 2-4 months.
  • Support to find employment. After completing the training, the trainees are supported to find employment in hospitality or related workplace.
Find out more

Core employability skills curriculum

We have developed an accessible curriculum, which is delivered during the classroom training. This focuses on skills relevant to hospitality, as well as a solid base in communications, English, digital skills, budgets and job applications.

As tourism begins to recover, this programme will help young people to prepare for jobs in the industry and also give them vital experience which is highly transferable for jobs in other sectors.

We invite anyone who is interested in using this curriculum as part of their own youth employment initiatives to get in touch.

Youth employment programme map

Where we work

Our youth employment programme is currently active in four countries:
India · Kenya · Nigeria · Sri Lanka

Through strategic partnerships with funders and non-profits, we are currently working to grow our programme and deepen our impact in these countries.

Please get in touch to support our programme in any of the above countries, or to discuss other destinations.

Our impact

Over its 15 year history, our programme has worked with more than 200 properties in over 25 countries encouraging them to take on young people who would not normally have access to working in a luxury hotel environment.

Find out more about our regional work

Discover more
Group of students from TUI Academy Sri Lanka - youth employment project from Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Asia Pacific

Our programmes are helping young people, including survivors of human trafficking, in the Asia Pacific region.

Discover more

Middle East and Africa

We are helping young people and working to increase disability inclusion in hospitality in this region.

Discover more
Young hotel housekeeper training how to make a bed. She is a participant of our youth employment programme in Latin America.

Latin America

We have previously run programmes supporting young people in Latin America.

Our history

Our youth employment programme was previously known as Youth Career Initiative (YCI). It started in 1995 as a programme providing education opportunities for those at risk of child exploitation using a network of five star hotels in Thailand run by Lyndall De Marco from Pan Pacific Hotels Group.

They joined our organisation in 2004 and it became known as YCI. Since then, the programme has expanded across the globe and gained global recognition, including winning the People category at WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow awards in 2016.

Youth Career Initiative logo

In 2020, Youth Career Initiative was united under Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and continues to support young people around the world as our youth employment programme.

Group of smiling students from our youth employment progamme in Sri Lanka, in partnership with TUI Care Foundation


Help us to continue to change lives

Find out how to become a partner

We are seeking partnerships with funders and non-profits to increase the impact of this programme across the world.

Get involved

If you, or your hotel properties, would like to find out more about taking part in this programme, please download a brief introduction to our programme here.