Member companies of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) are increasingly highlighting Youth Career Initiative (YCI) activities in their respective corporate social responsibility reports.
YCI, a programme of ITP, is a six-month 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 to realise the options available to them, enabling them to improve their employability and to enhance their long-term social and economic opportunities.
In 2012 three hotel companies – all members of ITP – provided details of their participation in YCI in their corporate reports.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Hyatt has partnered with YCI since 2008 and has implemented the initiative in Sao Paulo, Warsaw, Amman and Cancun. The involved hotel properties have collectively hired 60% of their programmes’ graduates. Today more than 10% of employees at Brazil’s Grand Hyatt in Sao Paulo are graduates of YCI. See here a video of Hyatt's Brigitta Witt talking about Workforce training for 'favelas' .
In 2011, the NH Mexico City hotel provided training to 10 young people through the YCI programme. In 2012, 6 of these young people have joined the staff of the property.
In 2010, Marriott was instrumental in securing a $200,000 grant for YCI from the U.S. Department of State’s Office. The grant was awarded to monitor and combat trafficking in persons through including rehabilitated survivors of human trafficking in the YCI programme in Mexico, Vietnam and Brazil (find out more about the YCI human trafficking pilot). In 2012, this initiative’s first graduating class in Mexico City included 11 survivors of trafficking from local shelters.
YCI is made possible thanks to a unique partnership with the international hotel industry, whereby participating properties provide the human, operational and training resources to deliver the programme.
In addition to being a great example for a corporate responsibility programme, YCI makes good business sense. In many developing markets, hotels are often confronted with a severe lack of local workers equipped with the skills needed in the hospitality industry. At the same time, huge numbers of young people are unemployed. YCI closes this gap: the hotels grow and nurture a pool of immediately employable, loyal staff with an intimate understanding of the inner workings of a high-end property. When a YCI graduate is offered a job, their income has a positive effect on an average of four additional people in their family. And so the socio-economic impact of the scheme works like a ripple effect throughout disadvantaged communities.
Moreover, the staff at the participating properties find the teaching and mentoring experience hugely rewarding and motivating:
I believe YCI’s holistic approach fosters a positive change not only in the lives of the young people but also in the hotel’s daily routine, member of staff at the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro.
Every year 57 leading hotels empower some 456 young people in 12 countries within the YCI framework. 85% of graduates either go into employment or further education.
This article was written by Emili Budell