Hilton's new hospitality: A jobs plan for global youth

Youth Skills

Hilton's new hospitality: A jobs plan for global youth

Infographic by Hilton Worldwide and IYF.
Infographic by Hilton Worldwide and IYF.

Hilton Worldwide and the International Youth Foundation are combining forces to outline a strategy for creating 73 million youth jobs in the next 10 years.

Christopher Nassetta, Hilton's CEO, spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland last week, where the results of a commissioned whitepaper from the International Youth Foundation were reviewed. Nassetta's comments in a Hilton news release:

We have a tremendous opportunity to prevent a lost generation of young people by helping them acquire the life skills and job training they need to be successful in the workplace and beyond. As a global citizen and a leader in one of the largest industries in the world, we have a business imperative and responsibility to develop solutions that preserve our collective futures.

The white paper, Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality, came about for two reasons. First is the youth economic crisis, a crippling situation defined by over 75 million unemployed people age 15-24 and countless more underemployed and struggling. Second is the unique position held by the global hospitality industry that leaves it equipped to help while maintaining or enhancing its own business growth.

According to the International Labor Organization, global youth unemployment hovers around 13 percent. This figure is double or even triple in many emerging markets. However, Nassetta points out in a recent CNN interview that these markets are the very ones in which the hospitality sector is seeing rapid employment growth. That rapid growth in the developing world makes the hospitality industry a perfect supplier of not only jobs, but life skill training and prospects for the future.

The IYF has developed a three-point call to action for hospitality companies worldwide:

  • Design an enterprise-wide strategy for youth development that is locally relevant and long-term.
  • Build knowledge for the company, the industry, and other stakeholders in youth well-being.
  • Measure results and track progress toward youth development goals that are relevant to the hospitality industry and society as a whole.

Perhaps the most groundbreaking aspect of the overall initiative is Hilton Worldwide's support for a means of accountability around these issues. A set of global reporting tools including a Global Youth Index & Plan for Business Impact provides methods for assessing the effectiveness of investments targeting youth over time.

Undoubtedly, this initiative is also a growth strategy for the hospitality business: IYF shows how new career pathways for this emerging workforce could also meet crucial industry-wide hiring needs. Both Hilton and IYF hope the momentum behind their initiative will help a "lost generation" find some solace in the hospitality sector.

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