Enabling young people to build a better future through hospitality training
young people have graduated
hotels have taken part in our programme
countries participating in our programme
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.
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.
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.
Soft 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 English, computer 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.
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.
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.
vulnerable young people supported
hotels have taken part in our programme
experience running a global youth employment programme
“This programme gave me the opportunity I needed, a chance to show who I am and what I can do. This is the most valuable aspect of the programme, the opportunities that it can provide to young people. I am extremely grateful for being given the chance to achieve my career goals.”
“A big challenge for me was learning to use the computer because in the community I am from, there is no easy access to technology.
Thanks to this initiative, I was able to demonstrate my skills and develop in the workplace. It has taught me beyond the limits that I learnt from my community and I now aspire to develop myself on different levels.”
“In next year, I hope to become a shift supervisor in the hotel kitchen and continue to improve the skills I have learnt on the programme.
I would like to express my gratefulness towards the programme, the hotel staff and trainers who have spent time guiding us to acquire important vocational skills. It has improved my mindset and confidence day by day. I am ready to start a new life-journey.”
“Every department I visited was a world of opportunity for me. I fell in love with every department I trained in, asked many questions, and always tried to go the extra mile. My experience on the programme taught me that I had the ability to do so many things: perform rigorous sanitation procedures, handle cleaning equipment safely, and learn to use all the chemicals in the Steward area properly.”
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.
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.
1. ILO (2017), Global Employment Trends For Youth 2017, available from www.ilo.org
2. ILO (2020), Global Employment Trends For Youth 2020, available from www.ilo.org
3. ILO (2017), Global Employment Trends For Youth 2017, available from www.ilo.org
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