We were delighted to learn this week that our successful youth employability programme the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) 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 youth opportunity programmes. Will learn who the winner is at a ceremony in Dallas, USA on 6th-7th April 2016.
YCI is a transformative programme for disadvantaged young people.
Working with our members we realised that while there was a pressing need to address the global issue of youth unemployment, there was a simultaneous need for a continuous supply of skilled talent within the hospitality industry who were struggling to recruit.
YCI works with 16 partner hotel companies and local non-profit organisations to bridge that gap by creating opportunities for young people and providing skilled talent who have been trained across a wide range of departments within the hotel operation.
YCI is a six-month education and training programme 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 programme 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.
Learning of the award status Alberto Canovas ITP’s Head of YCI said, “We’re honoured 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 programme, 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 programme’s global expansion, allowing us to facilitate the training of around 2,500 young people every year by 2019.”
YCI’s success rate currently sees 85% of programme graduates go on to employment or further education, including young people like Eunice, a survivor of human trafficking and YCI graduate from Nairobi, Kenya. She told us in an interview last year, “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.”
We’re so grateful for the generous support and commitment of ITP’s member hotel groups who underpin YCI’s ambitious growth plan and help make the programme so successful, as well as an array of funders and foundations which allow the team and co-ordinators in Sao Paulo, Addis Ababa and Mumbai to continue their work to identify new programme opportunities whilst ensuring the success of existing programmes.
YCI operates thanks to the commitment of supporting partner hotels who mobilise their local properties to offer the training programme to local youth, and non-profit organisations who help identify and mentor the young people who participate. In some locations, other businesses and public agencies provide further support to the programme, including the provision of life-skills training and stipends respectively.
We’d like to thank all our supporters who have helped make YCI so effective and meaningful for the students who come to the programme, and whose lives and the lives of their families are frequently changed for the better. We’ll keep you posted on the outcome in April.