Tour4Youth project gives a boost to integrating young people in tourism into working life

23.5.2024Tiina LeinoNews

Finding your own direction in working life is a lifelong path. For some, this path is more straightforward and for others, the path has more curves. At the heart of it is the individual's desire to do work that interests and develops them, while being an active and competent member of the work community.

Three persons sitting on chairs, one has a laptop in front of her and the two other are on mobile phones.

The straightforward path might be for example, that one wishes to work in a hotel, and the career progresses from one job to another in the same field through acquiring more and more skills. The curvier path for example could be anything from starting as a waitress in a café and continuing to an interesting job in program services, followed by a job as a content creator.

Both career paths have a lot in common. First of all, you need to start. The first job can be a traineeship, for example, to get a feel for the rules of the working life. Secondly, it is important to understand the difference between studying and working; understanding the fact that in working life the organisations mission and goals are the focus, not the individual perspective like in studies. Following this, one's own work must be done responsibly and in accordance with common guidelines. Thirdly, it is worth focusing on work that you are confident and interested in. In this case, the path may be straight or winding, but rewarding in any case. All this understanding about working life and its practices can be supported by traineeships or work placements. No one is ready for a job straight away, but a responsible and interested attitude leads a long way and opens doors to new, interesting jobs.

Opening doors to a career together - Tour4Youth supports employment

But getting started in a career is not easy. That's where the Tour4Youth project, which supports the employment of young people in the tourism, hospitality, and restaurant sectors, comes in. Since the beginning of February 2024, a self-studied online course in English has been available to support the young participants’ self-awareness and career skills. In this short time, more than 100 people have already registered for the course. Three certificates have been awarded so far, with more to follow in the near future.

Feedback from participants (not just graduates) has been good. Participants come from different levels of education, with a predominance of ages in the younger target groups. In addition to students, there are also unemployed or working people. It is great for the project that a wide range of participants have found the online course. So, what do the participants think about the content? The majority give it a rating of 4 or 5, the highest possible. Participants feel that they have learned a lot about the topics covered in the course, and they also mention the topics they have found most useful in the course. For some it is learning their own marketing speech or elevator speech, for others it is job interview tips and for a third it is the whole course path. Also, the participants are asked to give suggestions for improving the course. Through feedback, the course can be developed throughout the Tour4Youth project.

From traineeships to employment with the 'foot between the door' method

In partnerships with companies and organisations in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant sectors, participants are offered the opportunity to undertake traineeships. A wide range of traineeships are available, from restaurant work to hotel receptions, from destination marketing organisations to maritime tourism and museums. The possibility of an international traineeship experience may appeal to some, and for all the traineeships Tour4Youth offers support - both financial and emotional, also in difficult situations.

A big part of the project is future-orientation – making the young people understand that work done in the moment pays off in the future. The accumulation of skills, contacts and opportunities now will bear fruit or, in this case, work and pay in the future. This core message is be communicated to the target group through a variety of general and personalised messages. The first four implementation months have been full of activity and we can expect the momentum to continue throughout the project until the end of July 2025.

Screenshot from Tour4Youth project website.

Tour4Youth online career management course:

Tour4Youth traineeship:

  • Tour4Youth traineeships are open to students aged 15-24 in the tourism, hospitality and catering sectors or graduated unemployed jobseekers in the field.
  • Traineeships can take place in Finland, Estonia or Latvia.
  • Duration of the traineeship 4-8 weeks, supported by the project - and of course can continue after that.
  • The project supports the participants throughout the traineeship - both financially and emotionally.
  • The online course must be completed before the traineeship.

More information about the whole Tour4Youth programme and project:
Project Manager Tiina Leino, SAMK


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