Culture

First graduates of TUI Academy

46 youngsters ready to enter the tourism sector in the Dominican Republic

Copyright: Plan International

46 youngsters ready to enter the tourism sector in the Dominican Republic

18th April 2018. Education is giving young people in the Dominican Republic the chance to dream bigger and the first graduates from the TUI Academy, launched just over a year ago, are testament to that. The 46 youngsters have completed a rigorous training programme equipping them with the skills to work in the tourism industry and will now be employed at a TUI Blue Diamond Resort. Their proud family members and friends witnessed the Mayor of Bávaro presenting the graduates with their diploma.

The TUI Academy is a model developed by TUI Care Foundation and Plan International in partnership with TUI Group’s Blue Diamond Resorts. Over three years 150 disadvantaged girls and boys will undertake a one-year vocational training course preparing them for work in the field of tourism.

"The TUI Academy Dominican Republic aims to empower young people, especially women, from the poorest communities in La Altagracia Province by offering them access to job opportunities and motivating them to make informed decisions about their lives," explained Silvio Minier, Program Manager of Plan International Dominican Republic.

Elise Allart, TUI Care Foundation Executive Director of Programmes and Operations, explains: “We started this project in the Dominican Republic to help address the high youth unemployment, especially among young women. Many of these women are already mothers, some already have several children even though they are only 18 or 19 years old.”

Youth unemployment in the Dominican Republic is at 35%, out of which 70% are women. The teenage pregnancy rate in the country is extremely high with 21% which is twice the worldwide average.

Lucia, an 18 year old graduate with a young son commented: "This project has created a pathway for me and each of my companions. Being a mother does not prevent us from moving forward, because we can succeed and be who we want to be,”

Students can choose to study housekeeping, bartending or kitchen assistant. As well as learning these technical skills, the students receive life coaching in their personal development with a focus on gender empowerment. Young mothers are supported with childcare for their children under the age of five whilst in training.

Recruitment is now underway for the second group of students with new training sessions scheduled to begin in May 2018.

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