At the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland yesterday, the hotel brand, which manages, franchises, owns and leases 4,000 hotels across the world, pledged to 'open doors for young people' who were 'facing a grim socioeconomic reality' by:
- Connecting them to the world of travel by enabling them to experience new cultures, contributing to the improvement of the sustainability of the industry and shaping their future with opportunities in Hilton Worldwide’s expansive supply chain;
- Preparing them for success in the world of work, travel and beyond by supporting their basic needs and developing their life and professional skills with mentorships, apprenticeships and Hilton Worldwide’s innovative career awareness program, Careers@HiltonLive; and
- Employing them across all divisions of the business.
Hilton Worldwide president and chief executive Christopher Nassetta, said something needed to be done to improve the prospects of the 290 million young people worldwide who aren't working or studying and also find future staff for the travel and tourism sector which accounts for almost 10 per cent of global employment.
“We have been opening our doors to millions of guests for nearly a century. This pledge is a natural extension of our promise to create meaningful opportunities for the next generation of team members, guests and business partners,” he said.
The hotel group, which has placed more than 177 apprentices into 32 hotels in the UK since launching its National Apprenticeship Academy in 2012 and last year issued an industry-wide call to action with the International Youth Foundation to help prevent a 'lost generation' of talent, plans to pull together all its initiatives to help young people.
"The talent gap is one of the most important issues facing businesses, governments and communities today, and it is a direct contributor to the youth unemployment rate,” said Nassetta. “As one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, we are in a unique position to leverage our size, scale and expertise to close the gap and address this critical issue in a meaningful way. The success of our business depends on the success of the next generation.”
Programmes which Hilton will push forward with include its month-long awareness campaign Careers@HiltonLive; Bright Blue Futures, apprenticeship and professional development programmes and sustainability initiative Teaching kids to CARE which is run in conjunction with DoubleTree by Hilton staff and young people.
“One of the most impactful actions that a company can take is to develop a comprehensive commitment that is both widely accessible and scalable,” said William Reese, president and chief executive of the International Youth Foundation. “This challenge of preparing young people for the workforce is one that no single industry or company can address – it requires cross-sector collaboration and strategic investments.”