- TUI Academy in the Dominican Republic offers career path in tourism industry for young people
- Safety network: Children empowered to protect themselves from (re)victimisation of commercial sexual exploitation
TUI Care Foundation and Plan International team up to bring education and employment opportunities in tourism to young people in the Dominican Republic. Together, the two organisations launched the TUI ACADEMY. Through this initiative 150 disadvantaged girls and boys will receive, throughout a period of three years, a one-year vocational training course preparing them for work in the field of tourism. Furthermore, a top-up educational programme will be offered which, beyond providing employment skills, will also include education on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender related issues, work safety and financial literacy. This way TUI Academy will help young people to protect themselves from exploitation and make better informed decisions about their future life.
The training includes an internship at Blue Diamond resorts where, among other things, they will be coached by experienced practitioners in their personal progression and development. Upon successful completion of the training, students receive a certification from INFOTEP –the official Dominican institute for vocational training. To support their first steps in the tourism industry, TUI Academy graduates are given working contracts of at least 6 months in duration.
Through TUI Academy, 150 adolescents in 3 communities in Punta Cana will be socially and economically empowered. The first group of 50 students currently undertaking TUI Academy’s educational programme are between 17 and 24 years old and more than half of them are girls. The latter are particularly vulnerable to sex exploitation – currently the teenage pregnancy rate in Dominican Republic is at 21 per cent, doubling the world average – reason why this program aims to have enrolled approximately 70 per cent female participants by the end of it. Day-care services at are at the students disposal and a big focus is being put in those communities surrounding the hotels where they would do their internships. Both measures are key to support participants and hinder abandonment rates.
Jeremy Ellis, Member of the Board of Trustees of TUI Care Foundation, says: “TUI Care Foundation is proud of his long-lasting partnership with Plan International. Together, we can open up new perspectives for young women and men in the Dominican Republic and combat multifaceted and complex issues such as exploitation and unemployment. Prevention and education are key in order to create opportunities for the citizens of tomorrow, and our TUI Academies offer the right environment for this to take place. They contribute substantially to a sustainable development of destinations and by that to empower local communities.”