In a bid to address the on-going issue of global rising youth unemployment, Hilton Worldwide hotels and corporate offices around the world have been working hard in May to promote the wide range of career opportunities available within the dynamic hospitality industry to young people.
Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality Month is Hilton Worldwide’s largest ever global career event. Throughout May the company has been hosting over 600 events - including around 90 in the UK alone – to help inform those looking for employment, including young people, about the vast array of opportunities available to all in the hospitality industry.
Here in the UK:
o Hilton Gatwick: The hotel hosted an event for 80 of this year’s apprentices from the Hilton Worldwide National Apprenticeship Academy. This included taster sessions about different hotel departments and a panel forum where apprentices had the opportunity to seek advice from senior Hilton Worldwide Team Members, such as Simon Lazarus, Vice President of F&B, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide, who began his own career as an apprentice.
o Hilton Green Park: The hotel’s head chef, Karl Richardson, gave a master class to local young people from The Rugby Portobello Trust, demonstrating the artistic and creative side to cupcake making and talking to them in more detail about what a job as head chef entails. The project was also selected to receive a $5,000 Hilton Hotels & Resorts Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality Month Travel with Purpose® Action Grant.
o Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor: A hospitality treasure hunt took place, with local students given clues leading them to different departments across the hotel, where they were provided with insight from our Team Members about what their different roles entail.
o DoubleTree by Hilton, Leeds: The hotel worked with Springboard and Interserve to organise a variety of events for unemployed young people, including mocktail making, cookery demonstrations from the hotel’s chefs and career advice sessions.
o Virtual Careers Fair, UK wide: Hilton Worldwide hosted a virtual careers fair which featured live talks, demonstrations and booths where visitors could learn more about a range of career opportunities in the industry, including graduate programmes, apprenticeships and careers in departments including front of house and health and fitness.
o Hilton Worldwide EMEA corporate office, Watford: Local young people benefitted from the insights of Team Members from a number of the different departments which support the running of the company’s 330 strong portfolio of hotels across EMEA. This included completing a hotel design challenge with the architecture & construction department, taking part in a quiz with the marketing team on the power of brands in our everyday lives, and attending a CV clinic run by the office’s HR team.
Ben Bengougam, Vice President, Human Resources, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Young people continue to face challenging employment prospects, but the vibrant and growing hospitality industry offers some fantastic opportunities to young people with a diversity of interests and skills. Through the 230 events taking place across EMEA, including over 90 in the UK alone, we are connecting and preparing young people with the tools they need to make informed decisions about their future.”
Young people – the biggest demographic in the world – are facing serious challenges building and growing careers. In 2013, nearly 74 million young people were unemployed . Career preparation is crucial for these young people and their contribution to our global economy. The travel and tourism industry is the world’s single largest employer, supporting one in every 11 jobs worldwide , and will need to play a leading role in addressing the youth unemployment challenge. Furthermore, studies show there is a mis-match between the skills company’s need and those young people have. Only 43 per cent of employers surveyed  worldwide agreed that they could find enough skilled entry-level workers.
Additionally, many young people are not clear on the opportunities that are open to them, with less than half (46 per cent) saying they were aware of the sectors where there were many jobs available.
Hilton Worldwide has been one of the key partners and supporters of ITP ’s Youth Career Initiative. YCI  works in countries around the world helping provide employment and other next step opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
Working with NGOs to identify young people who are keen to work but have limited prospects, YCI partners with nearby hotels which provide the students with training, mentoring and real world work experience to help them move onto a career or further education. The scheme has an 85% success rate.
Through their Careers@Hilton initiative, Hilton Worldwide wants to ensure all job seekers - including young people - have access to the best available information about opportunities the industry provides.
Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality events are a unique opportunity for Hilton Worldwide Team Members to inspire and inform young people about careers in the hospitality industry, and to support them by providing guidance on the skills that are vital to succeed in the workplace and beyond. Participants have been joining Hilton Worldwide Team Members for events ranging from résumé clinics, to career speed-networking, as well as presentations from Team Members on their career paths.
Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality Month is a part of Hilton Worldwide’s Open Doors  commitment, which aims to positively impact at least one million young people by 2019 and better prepare them to reach their full potential. It is also part of Bright Blue Futures , a global programme that encourages Team Members to donate their time and expertise to help young people achieve stability and bring hope to their communities, preparing them for a brighter future.
Anyone unable to attend an event during the month of May can still take part in Hilton Worldwide’s “Career Concierge,” in which everyone interested in learning more about careers in hospitality can submit their questions online via Hilton Worldwide’s Twitter feed (@HiltonWorldwide) using hashtag #CareersatHiltonLive, or through the form on www.hiltonworldwide.com/youth . Each week in May, this website will be updated to host a selection of the submitted questions, answered by a panel of Hilton Worldwide Team Members.
For more information about Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality Month, please visit www.hiltonworldwide.com/youth . For information on job opportunities with Hilton Worldwide, visit www.hiltonworldwide.com/careers .