DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Marriott International, Inc has recently announced its partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab, the MENA regional office of Junior Achievement Worldwide, to launch the organization’s youth empowerment campaign ‘Expand Your Horizon’. Marriott International was one of 5 partners, including Boeing, Aramex, MBC Group and WAMDA, all of which represent a sector that is becoming more appealing and attractive to Arab youth.
‘Expand Your Horizon’ is focused on showcasing internship and employment opportunities from the region’s key growth industries, providing information about these sectors that will equip the youth to make more informed decisions about their future career paths, thus steering them towards viable work experience opportunities.
The cause is highly relevant to Marriott International. David Leman, Marriott International’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Middle East and Africa, says, “This initiative allows Marriott the opportunity to create a paradigm shift in the perception of hospitality among MENA nationals, and showcase careers in hospitality to the next generation of hoteliers, benefiting both the Arab youth as well as our industry.”
So far, Marriott International has received over 1400 applications through the “Expand Your Horizon” campaign. The hotelier is looking to appoint 55 young interns across eight markets, namely Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, KSA and Bahrain. During their internship the students will be fully immersed into all aspects of the business to help them explore what career opportunities are available within the hospitality sector, from sales and marketing to engineering, finance, human resources and guest relations, to name a few. The interns will also have the opportunity to experience life as a full-time Marriott International associate. By facilitating valuable hands-on work experience the project is set to encourage young Arab nationals to consider a wider range of career opportunities available to them, especially jobs in growth sectors such as hospitality.
Leman added, “‘Expand Your Horizon’ will increase the understanding of the rapid growth the hospitality sector is forecast to sustain and will attempt to increase the demand amongst youth for employment in the sector, and we are thrilled to see so much interest from the Arab youth already. Through our close collaboration with INJAZ Al-Arab we aim to help nurture the dreams and aspirations of young Arab nationals, but also to potentially see some of the interns return to pursue a career with Marriott International, either within the Middle East and Africa region, or perhaps even globally.”
Marriott International has long been involved in corporate social responsibility projects world-wide that evolve around five pillars: Environment, Vitality of Children, Shelter and Food, Ready for Work, and Empowering Diversity. The latter two have been of particular priority to the hotel group’s Middle East and Africa region, resulting in the company proactively seeking out commendable initiatives across the region that are both inspirational and results-oriented.
Since 2012 Marriott International has collaborated with Akilah Institute for Women in Rwanda to offer young women aged 18 to 30 the opportunity to train and work at its Dubai and Doha properties. The goal is for the students to eventually return to their native Rwanda to help open the Kigali Marriott Hotel in 2016 as supervisors.
Additionally, through Protea Hotels, which was acquired by Marriott International early in 2014, the group has been working closely with Harambee to help tackle youth unemployment in South Africa by offering business skill courses and work experience placements at its hotel properties in the country.