Our International Tourism Partnership’s Youth Career Initiative (YCI) helps tackle global youth unemployment.
BITC and the international picture
According to the International Labour Organisation, there are 71 million unemployed youth worldwide and 156 million young workers living in poverty: youth employment remains a global challenge and a top policy concern.
Our Youth Career Initiative helps tackle global youth unemployment by working with young people who are unlikely to have a viable route into legitimate employment and unable to improve their situation without external help. YCI provides students with transferable life and work skills that make them employable and empowers them to make career choices and positive life decisions.
Sustainable Development Goals:
Relates to SDGs 1, 8 and 10 - No Poverty; Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Reduced Inequalities.
To mark International Youth Day on Friday 12 August, which this year has a specific focus on eradicating poverty, YCI’s Devika Jina tells the story of Ranjeet, who graduated from YCI Delhi in 2013. Ranjeet’s story is a reminder of how YCI enables scores of young people across the globe develop a career so that they can break the cycle of poverty, and create a better, more sustainable future.
I met Ranjeet while in India last year, when I had the opportunity to get to know partners and graduates of YCI. Colleagues who had met him previously told me about his tenacity and enthusiasm for the programme, and sure enough, he proved to be an impressive young man.
Born to a farming family, Ranjeet left school at the age of 18 to pursue work as a waiter in a small local hotel. However, as he puts it:
“This job really didn’t make me feel happy or fulfilled, and I was dissatisfied as I had no direction of how, if at all, my career there could develop. That’s where YCI came in.”
With his sights set on building a life for himself beyond his home town, he applied.
The opportunity of a lifetime – how YCI opened doors for Ranjeet
Ranjeet spoke with passion about how he has made the most of his six months learning a host of vital life and work skills from mentors at the Westin Gurgaon, one of YCI’s partner hotels.
When we met on that afternoon, I asked him what his favourite part of the programme was and he said: “Honestly, that’s a very difficult question for me to answer as I loved every part of the six months. My mentors really helped me to improve myself, teaching me how to behave in a hotel environment, what to do and what not to do. My life is so much better as a result.”
He told me how, after the programme, he was able to secure a job at the Crowne Plaza in Delhi as a waiter, but was eager to build his career overseas, so he could not only travel the world but also be better able to provide for his family, and himself.
From Delhi to Dubai
Fast forward to 2016, and Ranjeet now works at the JW Marriott Dubai. He explained that he moved there to earn a better wage, as a loss in the family had left his mother and siblings without a secure income. He spotted the opportunity to work as a housekeeping attendant at the hotel, and luckily, his application was successful.
Ranjeet has settled in to working life in Dubai, and continues to impress his colleagues. His aspirations for the future are bright, and he is determined to continue building on his success so he can eventually gain a senior position in the industry.
Reflecting on his experience, and his growth since graduating from the programme, Ranjeet said: “YCI really did give me the opportunity of a life time, and I never would have been able to imagine living and working in Dubai three years ago. I have loved my time building a career, and I know what I want out of my future.
"It has been a challenge, but I’ve made it and I would heartily recommend the programme to other young people like me. You need patience and determination to succeed, but it really is worth it.”