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(ANS – Madrid) – Last Thursday 6 September, at the Madrid Airport Hilton Hotel, there was the closing ceremony of the “Hilton Hopes” Project, an initiative of the “Pinardi” Federation of Salesian Social work in Madrid in collaboration with the Hotel management. The programme had enabled 9 young people in difficult social situations to take part in a three months training scheme during which they were engaged as apprentices workers in various departments of the Hotel.
This collaboration was aimed at giving young people who given their background had not been able to find employment an opening start and to provide them with work experience in the various sectors of an Hotel, in the kitchen, in special events, in office and computer skills, in reception and in sales …
At the closing ceremony, Clemente Felus, Director General of the Madrid Airport Hilton opened proceedings and he was followed by the Vice President of Human Resources, Hilton Europe, Ben Bengougam.
The Provincial of the Salesians, Fr Luís Onrubia, was also present with the young people to give them encouragement to continue to work, and he pointed out the openness of the Hilton Hotel and the opportunities created for the young as a result of this collaboration. Then the 9 young people received their diplomas before the event concluded with the words of Dolores Flores, Director General for Children and the Family in Madrid, and Carlos Izquierdo, Vice Minister for Immigration of the Madrid Local Government.
The combined project of the Salesians and the Hilton Hotel is part of the strategy the Pinardi Federation is pursuing in setting up specially tailored training programmes in which businesses play and active part using their own expertise. Fr Onrubia explained: “This project is an example of what can be achieved in the short and medium term through collaboration between the private and public sectors and social organisations. This project is part of the Pinardi strategy bringing together the world of work and the young people we are dealing with in our educational and social work.”
100 invited guests were present including various people from different businesses in the Spanish capital, and local Madrid politicians. At the end of the ceremony the young people offered their guests a cocktail party which they themselves had organised and through which they could demonstrate the new skills acquired in the course of Culinary Arts they had attended in the previous three months
Starting yesterday, 10 September, two of the students who had taken part in the course were taken on as members of the Hotel staff.
This is only one of the many projects of the “Pinardi” Federation of Salesian Social work in Madrid on behalf of young people in danger of being excluded in the search for work.