Tui Care Foundation will help 150 disadvantaged young people at its first academy in Sri Lanka.
The Tui Academy Sri Lanka provides training in hospitality, integrated life skills and female empowerment for people aged 17 to 24.
It aims to help young people enter the tourism sector and has been set up in partnership with the Youth Career Initiative, a global employment programme run by the International Tourism Partnership.
The practical training will take place at Riu Hotels & Resorts, Aitken Spence Hotels, Hilton and Taj.
“Young people are an inspiration to all of us,” said Dagmar Wöhrl, board member of the Tui Care Foundation, at the launch event in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka.
“We would like to empower these young women and men to start a career in tourism and pave their way for a successful and self-determined future.”
She said they were aiming to fill at least one third of the places with female students.
The speaker in Sri Lanka’s parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, added: “This valuable initiative will provide education to less privileged children and will give them the chance to start a better life.”
In the first year of the three-year project, 60 disadvantaged young people will receive two months vocational training at the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality, followed by three months practical training in a luxury hotel or resort.
The project works with SOS Children’s Villages to recruit students from vulnerable communities.
One fifth of the younger generation in Sri Lanka are currently unemployed, and the tourism industry accounts for 12% of Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product and 11% of its employment.