Burba Hotel Network (BHN) and the Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference have announced their support of the International Tourism Partnership’s (ITP) Youth Career Initiative (YCI) in Latin America.

BHN has almost three decades of experience developing and producing the world’s most prominent gatherings of the hotel and tourism investment community, and their Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) event represents the perfect partnership for YCI.

YCI is a 24-week education programme that provides disadvantaged young people with life and work skills. YCI is made possible thanks to a unique partnership with the international hotel industry, as participating properties provide the training and work experience opportunities.

Eligible candidates are typically aged between 18-21 years-old, have recently finished high school and are considered to be at-risk of exploitation.

Each country programme is tailored to suit the local needs of its young people – YCI is used as a tool to tackle or prevent issues such as youth unemployment, social exclusion, poverty, and exploitation.

BHN and HOLA have committed to support the YCI programme via an annual donation for three years. The money will help provide more opportunities for young people in Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica, with a view to moving the programme into other countries.

Alberto Canovas, Head of YCI said: “Being part of contributing to a young person’s success is rewarding and meaningful, and can be life-changing. BHN’s support will make a difference in a very big way. Previous graduates have told us, ‘I learned how to dream again, how to be somebody in life’ and ‘what a great chance to change my life’.

“Today more than ever, businesses around the world are recognising that a commitment to social responsibility is a critical part of their operational plans and business success, and BHN are doing their bit to help change the futures of dozens of young people.”

Stephen Farrant, ITP Director said: “YCI is a win-win in every way. Hotels develop a future pipeline of employable talent, the lives of young people are changed and local communities benefit. From graduating students to hotel general managers and leadership, many people have witnessed the lasting impact of this programme.”

Additionally, YCI has proved to be a very powerful way of motivating, retaining and developing existing hotel staff who relish the opportunity to engage in the programme as teachers and mentors.

Success rate:

  • 85% of graduates either go into employment or further education
  • 47% in hospitality,
  • 26% other sectors,
  • 12% further education.

Research shows that for every direct beneficiary of the programme, an average of four others in the family unit benefit indirectly from the resulting social and economic impact of the programme.

Jim Burba, at BHN said: “There is not a person that we have spoken to about YCI (inside or outside of the hotel industry) who isn’t impressed with the goals, objectives and success rate of the initiative. The results of our participation in India have been amazing, and we are pleased to be expanding our efforts with YCI into Latin America.” (Click here to find out more about BHN’s support for YCI India.)

Added Bob Hayes, co-founder of BHN: “At HOLA, we are committed to support YCI financially and also to shine the spotlight on this important programme to help increase the involvement of the hotel investment community. Supporting YCI is philosophically aligned with a key BHN principle of shared success. Our industry will be more successful when programs like YCI succeed, and we’re pleased to be able to be a part”.

Notes for Editors:
The YCI programme is designed to be delivered as part of the regular, day-to-day operations of a full-service hotel, built on the back of existing training and development courses the hotels regularly offer to their staff, and it is supplemented with external courses.

Non-profit and public organisations help to identify and recruit the most deserving candidates from local schools and deprived local communities. They also provide supplementary lectures, whilst other business sectors are invited to showcase job opportunities that participants could pursue upon graduation, given the transferable skills they learn through YCI.

Each programme provides over 750 training hours through a combination of theoretical and practical instruction, including mentoring in life and work skills, with most of the teaching coming from senior managers and highly experienced associates from the hotels.

Suitable participants are able to show a willingness to learn and a desire for self-development but have no other means to improve their lives; this means that they have limited or no opportunities to find decent, legitimate employment or continue in further education.

For more information about YCI, visit their website.

Article by: Siobhan O’Neill, Green Hotelier editor