Initiative Prepares Saudi Youth for Careers in Hospitality

Hilton Worldwide is partnering with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the King Khalid Foundation to launch Passport to Success® in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The program, which aims to engage and develop Saudi youth for future careers in the hospitality industry, will equip participants with technical and practical knowledge, as well as the employability, confidence-building and life skills required in the work environment.

Passport to Success, a global life skills initiative developed by IYF, will focus on four core areas: personal development, problem-solving skills, healthy lifestyles and workplace success. The range of training is designed to develop youth participants to become self-motivated, reliable, productive and confident in their decision making.

Mahmoud Mokhtar, vice president, Operations, Saudi Arabia, said: “In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia we are in a unique and compelling position to take the industry lead with this program for a number of reasons. First, we want to play our part in supporting the government’s Saudization policy to assist and promote the employment of local youth in the private sector. In addition, the importance of travel and tourism is now widely recognized as a key driver in boosting and diversifying the Saudi economy.

“As the fastest growing hospitality company in the country, Hilton Worldwide is fully aware of the growing prominence of the hotel industry to the flourishing travel and tourism sector and, to that end, we believe that we are in a position to empower ambitious young Saudis with the know-how and expertise to pursue a career in hospitality with the most recognized hotel company in the world.”

Hilton Worldwide’s collaboration with IYF was launched globally earlier this year by Hilton Worldwide CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta, as the company seeks to champion youth development on a worldwide scale and to leverage insights offered through its partnership with the Foundation.

In Riyadh for the launch, Bill Reese, President and CEO of the International Youth Foundation, said: “I am delighted the Passport to Success program is making its debut in Saudi Arabia with support from two widely respected, high profile partners. To ensure we can engage different types of learners and put students in charge of their own learning, the training is based on experiential instructional methods rather than a traditional lecture-based style and promotes a combination of interactive learning strategies.

“Our approach is also to adapt the current Passport to Success curriculum to ensure it is culturally relevant. To achieve this, we are developing in-house trainers to offer the programme within the hotels and provide the curriculum and trainers to other Saudi institutions, such as universities and vocational centres that work with young people who can potentially enter the sector.”

Speaking on behalf of the King Khalid Foundation, Her Royal Highness Princess Banderi bint Abdulrahman AlFaisal, said: “Educators, employers and policy-makers are finding that for young people to succeed they need an educational foundation which, in addition to technical skills, includes life and employability skills as a way to prepare them to be motivated and confident decision makers, who can overcome adversity and realize their potential. The introduction of this initiative to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a very positive step and one that will not only make a great difference to young Saudis but also to our society as a whole.”

With ambitious growth and expansion plans in Saudi Arabia over the next few years, Hilton Worldwide is preparing to hire over 10,000 qualified personnel to meet its growing workforce needs in the Saudi market. The company will continue to invest in creating opportunities for careers in hospitality through scholarships and youth apprentice programs, which offer basic education and advanced life skills training, providing a pathway for economic opportunities among key communities.