Companies, NGOs seek to end youth unemployment
youth in the hospitality industry - Photo Courtesy of Hilton World Wide
By RANDA EL-BANNA

CAIRO: With unemployment in Egypt hovering above 13 percent according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), some companies are starting initiatives to hire young people, Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ashraf el-Araby said on April 27 according to the “Hona al-Asema” program on CBC April 27.

Hilton Hotels started an initiative called “The Open Doors” to hire one million youth across the globe—including Egypt. The initiative was announced during the World Economic Forum held from Jan. 22-25 and aims to train and hire youth in the hotel industry.

In 2013, Hilton issued an industry-wide call to action in collaboration with the International Youth Foundation in order to prevent a “lost generation” of unemployed youth by increasing awareness and creating job opportunities for youth in the hospitality industry.

Koray Genckul, Hilton’s senior human resources director for the Middle East and Africa, told The Cairo Post that through the company’s “Open Doors” initiative, Hilton employees will donate their time and effort to train young people and give them hope that there are still good job opportunities in Egypt.

Hilton in May was part of Careers@Hilton Live: Youth in Hospitality Month, the company’s largest ever global career event. The event was part of the Bright Blue Futures Program, which encourages its team members to train and donate their time and expertise to young people.

“The future success of our business will rely on the success of the next generation taking full advantage of the extensive opportunities available in the industry. In the region, including Egypt, we are on course to open a considerable number of hotels in the next four years and we will have career vacancies to suit every skill and preference,” said Genckul in a press release.

NGOs also participated in the event. “Al Nour Wal Amal” held an annual product exhibition sponsorship to support vocational work at a school for blind girls and the Egyptian Food Bank and Egyptian Bank for Education and Development participated in a three month hospitality training program across various hospitality disciplines in order to help prepare participants for a career in the industry. Also, Ana El Masry Foundation supported vocational education and production workshops for youth to develop skills that will allow them to compete in the labor market. Schools like the Cairo British School, Nuweiba Technical School, El Fayouz Secondary School and the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management at 6 October University have also been involved in initiatives, Genckul told The Cairo Post.

The National Employment Pact (NEP), a coalition of Egyptian and German businesspeople was established after the January 25 Revolution to meet the demands of young people for jobs.

According to the NEP website, there are many unfilled job opportunities available. They estimate there are a million blue collar workers seeking to fill 600,000 vacancies, so NEP is trying to cover this gap by creating job opportunities for those in need of them.

NEP has created an initiative called “Promoting the Attractiveness of Blue Collar Jobs” which focuses on increasing the social acceptance for blue collar Jobs by using public relations, career orientation and technical training.

Twenty-two international companies in fields like pharmaceuticals, the food industry and electronics had a hiring conference on June 8 Youm7 reported on June 3, 2014.

Also, the “Twazeef al-Masry” (Hire Egyptian) foundation, Montada al-Dawar and the “Alashan el-Kheir Yeom” (For the Good to Come Along) initiative participated with the goal of starting initiatives to hire youth.

According to Montada al-Dawar founder Emad Hamdy, youth can only be hired in private sector companies because the government has 6 million employees in its administrative body which is considered one of the largest administrative bodies in the world. Egyptian youth have great potential and are talented he says, yet they need training to be up to date with new technology and to increase their technical skills, Youm7 reported on June 3.

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