Following a successful three-year partnership, Hilton has again partnered with national children’s education charity The Smith Family in Australia, as part of the hospitality company’s largest annual global career initiative, Careers@Hilton Week. Under the partnership, Hilton and The Smith Family will collaborate on a Work Inspirationprogram that will see over 150 young people – many from disadvantaged backgrounds – gain work experience at eight participating hotels across Australia from 14 – 18 May.
Unemployment is one of the biggest challenges facing young people today. Globally, more than 1 in 5 young persons are not in employment, education or training. In Australia, more than 264,000 young people aged 15 – 24 are unemployed, accounting for more than a third (36%) of all unemployed people across the country. Research also suggests that certain regions have much higher and concerning unemployment rates, including the Central Coast of NSW, northern Adelaide, West Melbourne and Townsville.
“Careers@Hilton Week is a truly unique opportunity for our Team Members to inspire and inform young people about the many great opportunities available in the hospitality industry, and to support them by providing guidance on the skills that are vital for them to succeed in the workplace and beyond,” said Heidi Kunkel, Vice President, Operations, Australasia, Hilton. “Our partnership with The Smith Family on the Work Inspiration program underscores Hilton’s global commitment to connect, prepare and employ one million young people by 2019, and enable them to reach their full potential. Since working with The Smith Family, we have seen over 400 students go through the program so far.”
Under the program, students will be able to explore their interests and strengths in the workplace through a behind-the-scenes look into a variety of career opportunities at a Hilton hotel. They will also acquire skills and confidence that can contribute to building their future careers via a series of career talks.
Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO, The Smith Family, said, “Supporting young people to make informed decisions about their future pathways needs to happen well before they try to enter the workforce.Research shows there is a strong link between employer/student interaction and a young person’s future employment and earning power. Students who had four or more contacts with employers before they left school are 86% less likely to not be in employment, education or training as a young adult, compared to students who had no such contact. 
“The Work Inspiration program connects students with employers in their local community who can start these conversations and get students excited about a variety of different career opportunities – some of which they may not have been exposed to before. By working together with organisations like Hilton, we can provide young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the skills, resources and networks they need for future employment.”
The Work Inspiration partnership has seen a number of successes over the past three years, including that of Ben Walker who participated in the Work Inspiration program at Hilton Brisbane in 2015. Ben has since commenced full time employment in the Events Team at the hotel and is now in the second year of his degree; studying a Bachelor of International Tourism and Hotel Management.
Ben said, “The Work Inspiration program inspired me to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. From the moment I stepped into the lobby at Hilton Brisbane, I was in awe of the hotel and very interested in the career opportunities Hilton could provide me. To be able to gain insight into a reputable hotel brand was invaluable – I am thankful for The Smith Family and Hilton for providing me with such a fantastic opportunity.”