LONDON—ITP (the International Tourism Partnership) announced that its Youth Career Initiative (YCI) employability program has been selected as a finalist in WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow (T4T) awards in the People Category. Selected from 157 applications, YCI has been shortlisted alongside two other programs. The winner will be announced at a ceremony to be held in Dallas on April 6 to 7, 2016.
YCI is a transformative program for disadvantaged young people. Recognizing a pressing need to address the issue of youth unemployment around the world, and a simultaneous need for a continuous supply of skilled talent within the hospitality industry, YCI works with 16 partner hotel companies and local nonprofit organizations to bridge the gap by creating opportunities for young people and providing skilled talent for hotels.
YCI is a six-month education and training program offered to unemployed youth with limited socio-economic opportunities in 15 countries across five continents. YCI works with young people who are unlikely to have a viable route into legitimate employment or be able to improve their situation without external help, including survivors of human trafficking. The program provides students with transferable life and work skills that improve their employment opportunities and empower them to make informed career choices and positive life decisions.
Opportunity for Additional Exposure
Alberto Canovas, Head of YCI, said, “We’re honored to have been selected by WTTC as a finalist in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards’ People Category. If we are lucky enough to win, the award will give unprecedented exposure to the program, supporting our growth plan and extending our impact, as well as helping thousands more YCI students around the world. This year marks a pivotal moment in the program’s global expansion, allowing us to facilitate the training of around 2,500 young people every year by 2019.”
YCI’s success rate sees 85 percent of program graduates go on to employment or further education, including young people like Eunice, a survivor of human trafficking and YCI graduate from Nairobi, Kenya who said, “At last, I can see my dream coming true. To some extent I had lost hope in life, but YCI came at the right time. Now, I can see my dreams coming true.”
Underpinning YCI’s ambitious growth plan is the generous support and commitment of ITP’s member hotel groups as well as an array of funders and foundations which allow the team and coordinators in Sao Paulo, Addis Ababa and Mumbai to continue their work to identify new program opportunities while ensuring the success of existing programs.
YCI operates thanks to the commitment of supporting partner hotels who mobilize their local properties to offer the training program to local youth, and nonprofit organizations that help identify and mentor the young people who participate. In some locations, other businesses and public agencies provide further support to the program, including the provision of life-skills training and stipends respectively.