The Youth Career Initiative (YCI) in Mumbai concluded at the end of November with 35 young people graduating from the programme.
31 students have been offered a job, three are attending job interviews this week and one student has gone back to studying. This 100% success rate is particularly impressive considering it is the result of a pilot, the number of graduates is the highest any YCI programme location has had to this date and the 100% rate was reached within merely two weeks of the course finishing.
YCI India was launched in June 2012 as a pilot programme in Mumbai involving 7 participating hotels. The 24-week life and work skills education programme has the purpose to empower disadvantaged young people to make informed career choices and to realise the options available to them, enabling them to improve their employability and enhance their long-term social and economic opportunities.
YCI is currently running in 12 countries, India being its latest addition. Each year, 57 leading hotels empower some 456 young people. 85% of graduates either go into employment or further education.
The programme’s highly replicable, global success rate is the result of its strong collaborative approach. YCI 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 London, Sao Paulo and Mumbai.
The participating hotels play the crucial role of providing the resources and teaching most of the practical and theoretical contents of the course. Despite being business competitors, the hotels coordinate their planning and collaborate in order to ensure that all the students are getting the same quality of education in order to make them fit for the labour market.
In Mumbai, the Kherwadi Social Welfare Association (KSWA) is an NGO that has been working with underprivileged youth for almost 100 years. Working alongside the participating hotel properties, KSWA assumed the key role of recruiting participants from local communities at the beginning of the process, and later on linking the new graduates with opportunities for job placements both within the participating hotels as well as in the wider hospitality sector in Mumbai.
This January, representatives of the participating properties, the local partner organisations, and the YCI Global Team will together be celebrating the students’ beginning of an exciting new journey in life.
For more information about YCI India see an overview of YCI work in India  and the latest video telling the story about YCI's first year in Mumbai .
This article was written by Emili Budell