“Over 6 million Indonesian children have dropped out of school. They do not have the necessary education or skills to later compete in the job market and therefore find themselves in desperate economic trouble. This makes them utterly vulnerable,” -
Steven Allen, UNICEF Representative in Indonesia.
The Hotel Sari Pan Pacific and the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has launched an innovative and on-going programme to train young people at risk of exploitation that need special protection. The Youth Career Development Programme (YCDP), an initiative of Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts that began at Pan Pacific Bangkok and was subsequently introduced at Pan Pacific Manila in partnership with UNICEF, is designed as a preventative strategy to help particularly vulnerable children.
Participating youth undergo a six-month training programme aimed at providing them with skills and employment opportunities. They are selected from economically and socially disadvantaged families, those that are more likely to be at high risk of commercial exploitation or of trafficking.
The Youth Career Development Programme is implemented under a unique partnership between private sector-leading hotels, NGOs, the Indonesian Government and UNICEF. The goal of the Youth Career Development Programme is to empower disadvantaged young people who have little or no education and few employment opportunities.
Hotel Sari Pan Pacific General Manager Eldridge Johnson MacEwan III comments, “This programme is a part of Pan Pacific’s commitment to the Indonesian community and lifelong learning for our youth. We believe the initiative will give the young people who typically have very few options a real break in life for true employment opportunities.”
The first group of trainees, three girls and four boys, will undergo a six-month training programme at Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta starting September 24, 2004. Each of the participants are between the ages of 17 and 21 and come from Jakarta’s inner city. The six-month training programme includes housekeeping, food & beverage service, laundry, fruit carving and English language training.
“A major challenge for Indonesia is to bring children and youth with limited or no access to education, training and employment opportunities into the economic and social mainstream,” stated Steven Allen, UNICEF’s Representative in Indonesia. “The only way this can be done is through partnerships such as this. I urge other businesses to examine what Sari Pan Pacific is doing and join with us.”
The Youth Career Development Programme was initiated by Pan Pacific Bangkok in 1995. The training programme started with nine trainees and quickly expanded to other hotels in Bangkok as well as in Manila. Today, 23 hotels in Bangkok and six hotels in Manila participate in the Youth Career Development Programme, providing training opportunities to over 350 children.
The initiative has attracted international attention globally with the Italian Government delegation in Jakarta last week examining the concept and supporting UNICEF’s initiatives to protect young people in danger of exploitation.