YCI successfully launches a new country programme in India

18th June 2012 was a special day for 47 young people in Mumbai City, as they began a new chapter in their lives.

The first Youth Career Initiative (YCI) country pilot programme in India was successfully launched, and it promises to be an exciting six months for both the participants and the hotels that have come on board. YCI is a 24-week education programme that provides disadvantaged young people with life and work skills. The purpose is to empower young participants to make informed career choices and realise the options available to them, enabling them to improve their employability and enhance their long-term social and economic opportunities.

YCI India is made possible thanks to a unique partnership between the international hotel industry, a locally based community organisation and the YCI Global Team based in Mumbai and London. Seven hotels, namely The Courtyard by Marriott, the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, the Hyatt Regency, the JW Marriott, The Park Navi Mumbai, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel and The Trident Hotel are part of the pilot programme. Four Seasons Mumbai Human Resources Manager Rimal D'Silva said: “We fully support YCI's initiative in creating employability for the country's youth and we are honoured to be a part of it.”

At Hyatt we maintain that no one better understands a community's most pressing issues - and their solutions - than those who live and work there. With its professionally run structure, organised curriculum and reach within the community, YCI is ideally suited to work in partnership with us.

Yasmin Poonegar, Director of Corporate Communications, Hyatt International

The Kherwadi Foundation supports YCI as the in-country Coordinating Partner. The NGO has been working with underprivileged youth for almost 100 years and has been recruiting students from the local communities around the Mumbai Slum as well as from other low-income groups. The Kherwadi Foundation will be actively involved in monitoring the progress of the programme consisting of over 750 hours of combined classroom-based and practical training equipping the participants with a wide range of transferable skills, which will increase their chances in finding work after graduating.

Rahul Giri is a student taking part in the program at the Four Seasons Mumbai: “It's a life line for us. I want to make sure I perform to the best of my ability […] so that I may be able to secure a job here some day. I am learning more and more about [the industry] each day.”

The Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) conference is sponsoring the programme. YCI India also benefits from the support of Accenture and Goldman Sachs who will be delivering pro-bono training in a range of skills including financial literacy and other subjects. Additionally, the Society for Service to Voluntary Agencies (SOSVA), a locally based network of both government and non-governmental organisations, is planning to provide volunteer English and IT teachers to further enhance the programme.

The first cohort of YCI India will be finishing the training on 30th November 2012. The Global Team is hoping that the Mumbai pilot programme will become an inspiring precedent for other major cities throughout the country to follow suit in the coming year.


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