INDIA: Don Bosco College Hospitality Graduates Employed by Leading International Hospitality Companies
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco College Hospitality Studies located in Mumbai, India’s most populous city and capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra, offers a three-year training program preparing India’s youth for employment in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The program provides poor and disadvantaged youth in the country a chance to train for a successful career and long-term financial stability in a growing industry.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is important for Indian youth, given the current state of India’s economy. According to the International Labor Organization’s Global Employment Trends 2014 Report, the unemployment rate in India has been gradually increasing since 2011 when the rate was at 3.5 percent. The rate rose to 3.6 percent in 2012 and again climbed in 2013 to 3.7 percent. The unemployment rate is expected to continue to grow in 2014, according the report.
For poor youth who lack access to education and employable skills training, risk of exploitation in the labor market increases as does their chance of continuing to live in conditions of poverty. In 2012, Salesian missionaries started the Don Bosco College Hospitality Studies (formerly called Don Bosco Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology) which offers degree courses in collaboration with Mumbai University and the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University.
The hospitality studies program includes coursework in food production, food safety and nutrition, beverage service, front office, housekeeping, communication skills and information technology. For those students more focused on the business end of the hospitality industry, coursework in accounting and management is also available through the program.
“Salesian missionaries know how important it is to provide poor and disadvantaged youth in India access to education and employment training both for the individual student’s professional development and to develop a stronger skilled workforce for India’s economy,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Students graduating from the hospitality studies program are prepared to enter a growing employment sector and many are successful in finding stable long-term work directly after graduation.”
Graduates from the program are currently employed at international corporations such as Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, Jet Airways and JW Marriott, among others. The success of the program is due to the intense learning environment in the classroom and the extensive hands-on experience students receive while still in the program. Students put their skills and talents to work organizing catered lunches and hosting events.
Don Bosco College also works to give back to the local community through cooking programs for self-help groups for women from the slums of Mumbai. The training provided encourages economic independence and initiates entrepreneurship.
With more than 1.2 billion people, India has the world’s fourth largest economy and according to UNICEF, is home to one-third of the world’s poor. Close to 217 million of India’s poor are children. Although more than 53 million people escaped poverty between 2005 and 2010, most remain vulnerable to falling back below the poverty line.
India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, too many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.
The hospitality program in Mumbai is just one of many such Salesian-run programs around the globe. With more than 70 colleges and nearly 700 job training programs worldwide, the Salesians are widely considered the world’s largest private provider of vocational and technical training.
International Labour Organization – Global Employment Trends 2014: The risk of a jobless recovery
UNICEF – India