26 September 2019
IHG announces global partnership with JA Worldwide to help young people build skills and experience in hospitality
Announced ahead of UN World Tourism Day, partnership highlights opportunities available to young people in the tourism industry
IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has today announced a global partnership with JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs, which focuses on preparing young people for future employment and entrepreneurship. The year-long partnership will support more than 750 young people as they gain skills and experience in hospitality in nine major markets around the world, including the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, UAE, Japan and China.
Yasmin Diamond, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, IHG, commented: “We’re proud to be the first hospitality company working with JA Worldwide to inspire hundreds of young people to experience careers in the industry. Our partnership demonstrates the real variety of opportunities that a career in the sector can bring, and it reflects IHG’s promise to provide True Hospitality for everyone – which includes making a difference in our local communities all around the world. Together with JA, we’ll be able to give young people a close-up view of the variety of roles available in hospitality, together with the skills they will gain through different experiences and training.”
Today’s announcement arrives ahead of 2019 United Nations World Tourism Day, themed this year around ‘tourism and jobs – a better future for all’. With the tourism industry generating one in 10 jobs worldwide*, IHG’s partnership with JA reinforces its focus on ensuring that IHG continues to contribute towards the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including goal number eight which focuses on decent work and economic growth.
Asheesh Advani, CEO, JA Worldwide, commented: “Working with IHG gives JA the opportunity to engage our students with the hospitality industry, which we know offers rich and varied opportunities in the world of work. Just like IHG, JA is a global organization in more than 100 countries, and this sets us up well for what will be an inspiring and fruitful partnership that helps create pathways to employability and job creation in the tourism sector.”
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), commented: “The tourism sector is an integral part of the global development agenda, driving economic growth and creating jobs, in particular for women and youth. UNWTO believes that private sector cooperation is essential if we are to realise tourism’s true potential as a force for good. We warmly welcome this new initiative and are confident it will make a real difference to the lives of many young people. UNWTO also looks forward to working closely alongside IHG to create more and better opportunities for all.”
Gaining experience with IHG First Look
Working together with JA, IHG is developing a curriculum to run a hotel work experience event called IHG First Look, to provide young people typically aged 14-18 with the opportunity to receive hands-on experience working in a hotel. Combining classroom working and a practical hotel takeover, students will receive a close-up look at what a career in hospitality entails.
IHG has already debuted its First Look events, partnering with the local JA network in London, UK; Atlanta, Georgia, US; and Dubai, UAE. Participants got stuck into a variety of activities in IHG hotels to help them gain first-hand experience of the industry, as well as job shadow front-line roles. Look out for updates on IHG First Look across IHG’s social media channels during October, by following #IHGxJA.
Inspiring entrepreneurship with Innovation Camps
Building on the relationship, in early 2020, IHG and JA will run a set of innovation camps, which will focus on solving a sustainability-based problem core to the hospitality industry. Students that come up with the most innovative idea will enter a virtual global final – with scope for the winning idea to be implemented across IHG’s global hotel estate of more than 5,700 hotels.
*Source: World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
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IHG ® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN Hotels ®, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, voco™ Hotels, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Holiday Inn Resort®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites®, Atwell Suites™ and Candlewood Suites®.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,700 hotels and nearly 856,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with over 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 400,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.
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About IHG and its communities
With more than 5,700 hotels in over 100 countries, IHG is proud to be at the heart of local communities and has a long history of making a positive difference to others.
- True Hospitality for Good is IHG’s flagship programme for communities and charitable giving, which works with partners to help change lives for the better through building skills and education in hospitality, and supporting communities when disasters strike. Giving for Good month is a part of True Hospitality for Good and provides thousands of IHG colleagues around the world with the chance to give back to communities.
- Since 2006, the IHG® Academy has worked with academic partners in local communities to offer work experience in hotels or corporate offices. The programme’s aim is to help develop a pool of skilled, motivated and engaged people capable of providing the great experiences guests expect in IHG-branded hotels.
- IHG has a proud history of supporting communities and colleagues when disasters strike, and this includes working closely with NGO partners to provide a consistent response when its hotels and offices are impacted by crises and disasters. In 2018, IHG responded to 12 natural disasters in 10 locations across six countries.
- For more information, please visit https://www.ihgplc.com/en/responsible-business