December 25 2019 TUI Academy Sri Lanka to Provide Hospitality Training The TUI Care Foundation launched the TUI Academy Sri Lanka which will provide underprivileged youth in Sri Lanka with hospitality training. The three-year project will be implemented in partnership with the International Tourism Partnership’s Youth Career Initiative and SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka. The Speaker of the Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, and the Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Skills Development, Dinesh Gunawardena, were the dignitaries at the event. Dagmar Wöhrl, Member of Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation, and Stasshani Jayawardena, Chairperson of Aitken Spence PLC graced the launch ceremony in Ahungalla. In the first year of the project, 60 disadvantaged young people will receive a two-month vocational training course on hospitality and life-skills at the Aitken Spence Institute for Hotel Management. This will be followed by a three-month practical training in a luxury hotel or resort. The students are recruited from surrounding communities and from SOS Children’s Villages. Dagmar Wöhrl said: “The youth are an inspiration to us all and we would like to empower these young women and men to start a career in tourism and pave their way for a promising future. Our initiative will especially encourage young women to take part. Aiming to get at least one third of the graduates to be female, the project is promoting women empowerment and gender equality.” Madhu Rajesh, Director of the International Tourism Partnership, added, “We are delighted to be able to use our experience of helping young people in Sri Lanka to support the TUI Academy Sri Lanka, so that even more young people have the chance to start an enjoyable and rewarding career.” The two-month vocational training course will cover life skills, hospitality, English and subjects like communication, customer service, health and sustainability. The practical training will take place at key properties of RIU Hotels & Resorts, Aitken Spence Hotels, Hilton and Taj. Upon successful graduation students will be awarded with a certificate recognized by the hospitality industry. The TUI Academy Sri Lanka builds on the support network provided by SOS Children’s Villages. “Our involvement with the TUI Academy is not just limited to the duration of the project, but it will also extend to supporting the trained youngsters in taking the next steps in the journey”, states Divakar Ratnadurai of SOS Sri Lanka. The TUI Academy Sri Lanka is part of the worldwide TUI Academy programme of the TUI Care Foundation, which provides education and practical training for vulnerable youth to open up job opportunities in the tourism industry.