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Hilton Worldwide to aid Youth in Hospitality

On 4 June 2013, Hilton Worldwide launched the Youth in Hospitality initiative, in partnership with the South African Department of Tourism, FEDHASA and the International Youth Foundation. The initiative aims to establish a programme that will train youth for sustainable careers in the hospitality industry.
Hilton Worldwide to aid Youth in HospitalityIn January 2013, Hilton Worldwide and the International Youth Foundation released "Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality", a white paper highlighting the critical role the hospitality industry plays in creating opportunities for young people.

Creating opportunities

Hilton Worldwide identified the challenges involved in creating opportunities for youth and recommended ways to better integrate young people into the workforce. With the aim of starting a dialogue on the topic, Hilton Worldwide is committed to collaborating with businesses, NGOs and governments to help youth succeed in the global economy.

"South Africa's youth are our next generation of leaders, innovators, employees and world travellers and Hilton Worldwide is proud to be the first private company in the country to launch such an initiative to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the country's future socio-economic success," explained Jan van der Putten, vice president, Hilton Worldwide, Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

"The private sector bears the risk of tourism investment as well as the responsibility of satisfying tourists. It is encouraging to see key players within tourism such as the Hilton Hotel group being pro-active in enlightening the youth to the immense employment opportunities within the hospitality industry. In anticipation of the National Tourism Careers Expo on 19-21 September in the Eastern Cape, the Department of Tourism would like to encourage stakeholders within the sector to partner with government in similar initiatives as we all strive to reduce the rate of unemployment amongst the youth, and make tourism the career, business and employer of choice," said the National Department of Tourism spokesperson, Trevor Bloem.

Staff needed for African expansion

Hilton Worldwide has almost 4000 hotels around the world and the company has a key focus on expansion across the Middle East as well as Africa. With 59 company hotels expected to open in the Middle East & Africa within the next four years, it is estimated an extra 23,000 new team members of staff will be required for the new hotels.

To encourage more students to consider careers within the hospitality industry, Hilton Worldwide, along with the Department of Tourism and FEDHASA, will explore ways to inspire young people and boost numbers at a higher education level.

A key focus of the partnership is to educate scholars about the nature and opportunities within the hospitality sector and Hilton Worldwide has partnered with a number of schools across the region to give students a hands-on insight into the wide variety of careers available within the company. Students will also learn about the 2000 university-level development and learning programmes they could access as a team member as well as the regular career opportunities available around the world as part of Hilton Worldwide's global network organisation.

Valuable training

Key elements of the education and training initiative include creating understanding of what the industry is about along with the intrinsic differences between the hospitality and tourism sectors. Most importantly, the initiative will also enable learners to make an informed career choice that will lead to their success in an exciting, dynamic and rewarding industry.

Hilton Sandton is actively looking to attract the right talent and in order to do so, has also partnered with hotel schools with the intention of being able to employ selected students as permanent employees. Hilton Worldwide's partnership with the International Hotel School resulted in Hilton Sandton being awarded 'Hotel of the Year, 2012' for the hotel's continued efforts to provide valuable training to its students.

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