Can the hotel industry take youth off the streets and put money in their pockets? Hilton thinks so

Skift Take

For Hilton’s efforts to have any long-term effect it will need to create paths to success that go beyond low-paying, entry-level work, which means it will need to stand up to hotel owners who want labor for less.

— Samantha Shankman

The travel and tourism industry is on track to generate 73 million new jobs by 2020 and employ more than 255 million people around the world by 2022.

Many of those employed in the industry are 15 to 24 years old, but still an estimated 75 million youth are unemployed around the world.

Hilton Hotels Worldwide is partnering with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) in an attempt to build a global strategy that teaches youth the skills to thrive in the hotel and tourism industry.

The hotel group commissioned the following report by IYF, Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality, which proposes that the best way for the hospitality industry to contribute to the economic development of communities around the globe is to fill thousands of new positions with qualified young candidates.


A lack of skills and lack of information regarding the industry is one of the biggest barriers keeping unemployed youth out of the hotel business. The issue is further hampered by the industry’s lack of training and recruiting resources in certain communities.

Hotel Skills

The International Youth Foundation sees the most effective steps to overcoming these challenges as the creation of companywide organizations that teach youth about job opportunities inside the industry and the skills they need to succeed.

Hilton’s current ¬†Bright Blue Futures program is one example of a global program designed to stabilize young people through education and workforce training.

This isn’t the first time that the size and strength of the hospitality industry has been tapped as resource in solving a global or local epidemic. We’ve previously written about Whole World Water’s campaign to unite the industry in the fight for clean water. The industry’s presence in practically every corner of the world makes it force when addressing problems that are just as wide spread.

Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality by Skift

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