Prince’s Trust Canada launched its first youth employment program in Edmonton this February.
The Discover Hospitality program took place February 25th to 28th at four Marriott hotels in Edmonton. A group of 21 young people aged 18-30 participated in half-day sessions where they learned the basics of hotel operations, refined their resumes and worked on their interview skills.
Discover Hospitality is a collaborative learning program led by Prince’s Trust Canada and delivered alongside community partners and Marriott hotel staff. The program introduced unemployed young people to the hospitality sector by providing them with a comprehensive overview of the industry, an increased understanding of the labour market and a range of employability skills.
“At first I thought the program would be all PowerPoints and boring – just like other programs I’ve taken part in. It turned out to be so much more than I expected. I didn’t realize how much hospitality, and Marriott, had to offer. I would definitely consider a role in hospitality now.”
Participants had the opportunity to tour the Marriott hotels, meet and interact with hotel employees, receive mentoring and learn about the types of careers in the growing hospitality sector. Each day, participants got an inside look at different jobs in the hotel, from the kitchen to the front desk, through demonstrations and activities.
“Our Discover program helps unemployed young people across Canada by providing them with meaningful opportunities to explore new career options, develop employability skills and meet employers,” said Sharon Broughton, CEO of Prince’s Trust Canada. “We’re excited to expand the reach of our programs to include young people in Edmonton.”
On the final day of the program, the group participated in mock interviews, networked with professionals and celebrated their week of learning with the Marriott staff and community collaborators.
“The mock interview has given me so much more confidence. I don’t really like talking to people I don’t know, but the Marriott staff were so welcoming it made me feel more at ease.”
As the demand for talent in the hospitality sector rapidly increases, employers in the industry are looking for new areas for recruitment. The Discover model gives businesses exposure to local talent. For unemployed young people, it gives them the chance to learn about careers in hospitality, see if the industry is right for them and learn some professional skills in the process.
When approached by Prince’s Trust Canada Tarek Fath Elbab, manager of community engagement at Bredin Centre for Learning, felt that the program could help his organization achieve their mission.
“At Bredin Centre for Learning, our mission is to provide clients with creative pathways to education and employment,” said Tarek. “This is a rare opportunity to increase employability skills in the hospitality industry and to empower unemployed Albertans, including youth.”
The Discover Hospitality program was run in collaboration with the Bredin Centre for Learning, Boyle Street Community Services, Boys and Girls Clubs Big Sister and Big Brother of Edmonton, and KULAN Community and Youth Development. Its success wouldn’t have been possible without their support.
Thanks to funders including RBC Foundation, KPMG and Finastra for supporting this work.
Learn more about our youth employment programs that are helping young people prepare for the future of work.