Youth Career Initiative enters Europe

Thanks to a new partnership with Marriott International in Romania, the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) will be extended to Europe

In August 2004, 10 successful applicants from local high schools will spend six months at the J W Marriott in Bucharest. Kurt Strohmayer, General Manager of the hotel said: "We are always looking at ways in which to work with the local community in Bucharest. YCI is an education programme that will help us do this and allow school leavers to see the workings of a five star full-service hotel."

He is hopeful that they may be able to work with other five star hotels in Bucharest which will allow YCI to take more school-leavers on to the programme. YCI enables international hotels to provide a six-month education programme for high school graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds so that they can acquire specific life and vocational skills to create opportunities and choices in their lives. Begun in Thailand in 1995, the programme now covers The Philippines and Indonesia.

Over 700 students have graduated and YCI is recognised as a 'best practice' by the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (lH&RA). A pilot programme with Southern Sun hotels is underway in South Africa and YCI is currently working with Marriott to bring programmes to the Caribbean and Brazil. Also championing the programme in Europe is Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where work is underway to assess the feasibility of a YCI in Croatia as well as looking at opportunities for a second pilot in Africa at the Sheraton in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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