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  • JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi



Ha Noi, March 7th, 2018

33 disadvantaged youth have officially completed the 2017-2018 training program at high-end hotels in Hanoi which was run in 6 month. The global program, Youth Career Initiative (YCI) aimed to equip at-risk youth with essential skills to work in the luxurious hospitality industry. 

The 2017-2018 YCI program has operated in collaboration between REACH and five-star hotels:  Hilton Hanoi Opera, Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi, InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, JW Marriott Hanoi and Sheraton Hanoi.

Our trainees

Our trainees come from severely disadvantaged background. For instance, some trainees are from poor households; some are orphans; some have parents with terminal illnesses, and some are youth migrants (some are from ethnic minority groups). In addition to being offered free-of-charge training, trainees are also provided with financial support to cover living and traveling expenses and uniforms.

“When I first stepped into the hotel, I felt overwhelmed, surprised, and unfamiliar and I kept wondering if I could fit in this luxurious environment. But after 6 months I became familiar with the well-disciplinedand professional environment and I also learned new skills, I worked with confidence and completed the assigned tasks. The program has strengthened my perseverance, disciplines and self-help.– Nguyen Van Cuong, intern at the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel Pastry Division, currently working as a casual employee at the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel.

The training program

Trainees are trained under the supervision of senior staff and managers at Hanoi’s most prestigious international hotels, with 80% of the training contents designed on 5-star hotel standards.

Trainees are rotated through various hotel functions including cooking, baking, banqueting and housekeepingfor skills and experience. Apart from training hours at the hotels, the remaining 20% of the program duration is supplemented by specialized English language courses, life skills, personal financial management and extra-curricular activities organized by REACH.

“Participants in the YCI program have access to a real working environment that is completely different from their visions of work. Although being curious, inquisitive, interested and enthusiastic, they are also easy to get frustrated if their faith is not held firm. From my personal experience and practical approach to the profession, I would like to reassure the trainees that your dreams are achievable as long as faith, confidence and desire are kept alive. Difficulties will be experienced but dealing with them delivers a new set of skills. Six months working with the hotel staff and the head of different departments who have given instructions and shared valuable experiences with you is your ticket towards successes and maturity in the job.”(Nguyen Chung Thuy, Executive Sous Chef, Hilton Hanoi Opera)

REACH is responsible for providing assistance to trainees to seek jobs after graduation. The target established is over 80% of trainees to be employed in the luxury hospitality industry.

At the time of graduation, 29 of 33 students were admitted to work at 5-star hotels and other high-end hotels and restaurants, while the rest were attending the interview round at other potential restaurants in Hanoi. Many of the former trainees are working in large 4 star, 5 star hotels and restaurants in the city which offer 7 million and higher salaries.

YCI & REACH – A Five-year journey

In June 2013, REACH was selected by YCI Global as local partner to deploy YCI Program in Vietnam. REACH had such honor because of its experiences in market-driven vocational training, working with disadvantaged youth, large number of annual beneficiaries (over 1200 youth/year), above-85% achievement of employed graduates and in addition, constant monitoring and timely support and consultation for trainees.

In 2017, YCI has been expanded to Ho Chi Minh City with engagement of new partnering hotels: Sheraton Sai Gon, InterContinental Sai Gon, Le Meridien and Renaissance. 20 trainees completed the training program and 12 of them were later employed by participating hotels of YCI.

In 2018, as an attempt to increase the number of beneficiaries, YCI program plans to extend its partnership to more 5-star hotels in Hanoi.

Over 5 years of the program implementation, remarkable achievements have been obtained:

  • 173 disadvantaged youth received training
  • 84% of trainees earned a job upon completion of the training course
  • 54% of YCI graduates were employed by participating hotels.

“This ongoing development demonstrates an extraordinarily effective collaboration between large corporations and NGOs in helping disadvantaged youth access training programs and career support in the 5-star hospitality industry.” (Ms. Pham Thi Thanh Tam – REACH’s Executive Director)


Although many obstacles and difficulties have challenged us throughout our 5-year journey, the program officers and the hotels have invested huge effort to ensure the students have achieved outstanding results!


About YCI

  • The Youth Career Initiative (YCI) is a 24-week education programme that provides disadvantaged young people with life and work skills. The purpose is to empower young participants to make informed career choices and realise the options available to them, enabling them to improve their employability and enhance their long-term social and economic opportunities.
  • Each country programme is tailored to suit the local needs of its young people – YCI is used as a tool to tackle or prevent issues such as youth unemployment, social exclusion, poverty, and exploitation.


  • REACH is a local, Vietnamese, non-government organizationspecializing in vocational training and employment for Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth. 
  • REACH was established in 2008 as a continuation of the Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS) programme of Plan Vietnam. It has provided free life skills and job training to over 13,000 youth in five cities and provinces.