Corporate Responsibility Report
Local economic opportunity through the IHG Academy programme
Our size and global market presence mean that we have a significant impact on the economies of the communities where we operate. We believe these to be as important as our environmental impacts and one of the key roles of hotels in society is helping local people build their skills and enhance their chances of finding employment.
Throughout the world IHG hotels provide opportunities for economic development, new business, much-needed jobs and technology transfer. Travel and tourism as an industry is particularly important to the economies of developing countries, employing more than 260 million people worldwide and generating more than 9% of global GDP. (Source: World Travel & Tourism Council 2011 Annual Review).
The IHG Academy is a collaboration between individual IHG hotels or corporate offices and education providers and/or community organisations. It gives local people the opportunity to develop skills and improve their employment prospects in one of the world’s largest hotel companies. It also ensures we have a pool of skilled, motivated and engaged people to work in our hotels, who will provide a consistently great experience for our guests.
Within a global framework, each IHG Academy is unique. This ensures that the training meets the needs of local communities as well as hotels around the world. All IHG Academy programmes have three things in common. They:
- operate together with local community organisations and/or education providers
- include a work experience placement, giving participants skills and real experience of working in a hotel
- include performance feedback and a recruitment discussion, giving participants an opportunity to experience the job interview process, and improving their chances of finding a job in the hotel sector and in many cases, secure a job in one of our hotels.
Participants of an IHG Academy come from all walks of life, ranging from university graduates through to disadvantaged young people. This reflects the range of careers and opportunities for progression available at IHG.
We currently have over 250 IHG Academy programmes in 47 countries around the world. It’s our ability to build skills and raise aspirations across hundreds of communities that inspires our vision is to have as many IHG hotels as possible participating in an IHG Academy.
In 2013 we firmed up this vision by setting a target to provide skills and improved employability to 20,000 people from 2013-2017 - double the number of people who participated in the programme up until 2012. We will achieve that by getting more of our hotels to run IHG Academy programmes, at the same time improving quality of use and increasing participant numbers.
We have also started the percentage of participants hired by IHG in order to track how many people get into work as a result of taking part in the programme. We are currently taking steps to measure conversion rates. This is a complex process as there is a huge variation in the type of IHG Academy programmes being run around the world. Ultimately we want to increase the percentage of participants hired and set up a process for tracking conversions. We will continue to report on our progress.