Since the commitment was made, more than 4,000 young people have been employed in the company's European operations, and a further 8,000 training opportunities in the form of work experience placements and apprenticeships have been created.
This has inspired the company to go one step further and uncap its target – it will continue its efforts in creating career opportunities for young people at the same pace towards 2020 and beyond.
Marriott's World of Opportunity programme, is an ambitious scheme to find and nurture the wealth of talent that lies untapped in 15-24 year olds throughout Europe. It underpins Marriott's support for and commitment to ITP's Youth Career Opportunity programme which helps hotels to bridge the gap between global youth unemployment and a lack of skilled young talent for hotel's to recruit from.
Working in partnership with The Prince's Trust in the UK and SOS Children's Villages in the rest of Europe, Marriott's World of Opportunity training courses develop not only employment skills, but "life skills" that will help young adults take their first step into work.
Reiner Sachau, Chief Operations Officer for Marriott International in Europe said, "The results from our World of Opportunity programme to date have been fantastic and I am thrilled that we are exceeding the target we set a year ago. Hospitality presents so many opportunities for young people and World of Opportunity is an open door for them to gain top-quality training, confidence and invaluable life skills in a supportive and dynamic environment. That is why I am so pleased to be able to strengthen our commitment to youth employment today by extending training opportunities to even more young adults in Europe."
Giving young people skills and employment opportunities is one of the most important ways for hotels to ensure a sustainable destination. A recent study using PwC's TIMM (Total Impact Measurement and Management) with TUI and the Travel Foundation found that the biggest positive impact the industry could make on destinations was training and employing local young people.
Marriott's World of Opportunity programme benefits all young people looking to get into employment regardless of background or experience.
Of the 8,000 training opportunities already created, 36% of these were taken by young people who had been unemployed for some time and were not in education or training. 61% of these were taken by people who were looking for their first job, and in both cases the training was tailored to get people ready for work with core job and life skills. The remaining 3% were taken by graduates of Marriott's Voyage programme: people who had graduated from further education and were pursuing a career in hospitality.
Marriott's aim is not just to employ talent within Europe but to help equip young people with the skills and confidence to make the move into work, whatever that might be. In the last year alone, it has provided young people with 336,880 hours of work experience in nearly 200 hotels across Europe.
Since 2012 Marriott has helped 400 young adults enrol and successfully complete a range of courses in collaboration with The Prince's Trust, equipping them with life-long skills in hospitality as well as more general communication and business skills. One of these is the four-week Get into Hospitality course which gives participants insight into a range of departments and job roles.
In Eastern Europe, in partnership with the Youth Career Initiative and SOS Children's Villages, Marriott offers a six month course designed to get young people into the hospitality industry. In December 2015, six students completed the course in Hungary with three of the participants going on to secure full-time employment with the Budapest Marriott and Courtyard Hotels afterwards.
Marriott's commitment to youth employment extends to supporting charitable partners with cash and in-kind donations to support a variety of programmes and initiatives. Since its World of Opportunity programme launched in 2012, more than €1.2 million cash and €640,000 in-kind has been donated to its charitable partners along with 40,000 volunteer hours.
A major initiative that contributes to Marriott's fundraising efforts is its You Eat, We Give campaign that promises £1 or €1 (or local equivalent) for every champion dish purchased at participating properties throughout May, June and July. Since You Eat, We Give launched in 2012, it has raised more than €650,000 and is a major contributor to Marriott Europe's goal to reach €2 million in donations to support its charitable partners by 2017.
Source: Green Hotelier