Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, January 22, 2013 /3BL Media/ – At a time when more than 75 million young people can’t find jobs, and countless more are underemployed, investing in opportunities for youth is not only a critical development issue but also a growth strategy for businesses around the world. In response to this challenge, Hilton Worldwide today announced at the World Economic Forum a commissioned white paper from the International Youth Foundation (IYF) that highlights solutions to youth joblessness that the global hospitality sector is uniquely positioned to provide. The company also announced the launch of Bright Blue Futures, a global commitment to youth development around the world led by its flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand.

The white paper, Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality, spotlights the economic and social struggles facing the world’s youth and the key issues that need to be addressed to solve those challenges. Leveraging insights gained through its partnership with Hilton Worldwide, IYF also presents the hospitality industry with a roadmap for action that focuses on creating career pathways for this emerging workforce while also meeting critical industry-wide hiring needs.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to prevent a lost generation of young people by helping them acquire the life skills and job training they need to be successful in the workplace and beyond,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide. “As a global citizen and a leader in one of the largest industries in the world, we have a business imperative and responsibility to develop solutions that preserve our collective futures.

According to IYF, there are few industries whose resources, expertise and career pathways are as relevant to addressing the challenges facing young people today, and whose business and expansion relies as heavily on a trained workforce in every region of the world. The travel and tourism sector, which alone employs 255 million people globally, is expected to generate 73 million new jobs by 2022.

“The youth employment challenge will not be solved by one company or industry alone.” said William S. Reese, president and CEO, International Youth Foundation. “This paper and Hilton Worldwide’s leadership provide a critical foundation for how hospitality companies can respond to youth development strategically, while also supporting their business goals, and IYF looks forward to collaborating with other sectors such as retail and ICT-related industries to address youth issues in a holistic and sustainable manner.”

Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality calls for broad collaboration across businesses, governments and the NGO community to bring their scope and scale to bear on the youth employment challenge, and outlines a three-point call-to-action for hospitality companies worldwide:

1. Design an enterprise-wide strategy for youth development that is locally relevant and long term

2. Enable industry-wide progress by sharing best practices that close the information gap on youth

3. Measure results and track progress toward youth development goals that are relevant to the hospitality industry and society as a whole

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