The origin of this project started in 2013 when we began to work with Pinardi on a project called “Eleven more to eat” in which eleven young people were trained as assistant chefs at the Tryp Madrid Alcalá 611 as part of a training programme “in and with the Company” run by the Pinardi Foundation. The project is aimed at socially vulnerable young people that are capable of learning technical skills in a real working environment. Developing these skills on the job allows young people access to a learning experience in a real-life context and also helps develop specific skills for the positions which are currently most in demand in the tourism industry.
First Professional Experience is based on real professional experience in a real working environment in catering, tourism, leisure and logistics, all achieved through collaboration with partner companies in each industry. The training is complemented by training sessions in languages, financial literacy, digital competence, work environment, and transversal competences.
In 2015 the initial project grew in its scope and ambition, with Meliá Hotels International taking on the challenge of improving the employability of thirty-five youngsters all at risk of social exclusion and who had not completed their studies. All of the project partners working together have helped create an innovative model of social work that has helped young people get their first chance to get real work experience in a professional environment that gives them experience, personal development, maturity, and skills that contribute positively to improving their chances of employment in the future.
In 2015 JP Morgan joined the programme as a sponsor and the Accenture Foundation began to help with technology and language support.
On the whole, the First Professional Experience social project led by Pinardi and funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation has improved employability so far for more than 90 young people in its first year, using an innovative model for youngsters to get work experience at leading companies such as Meliá Hotels International, Cardamom, Accenture Foundation, Grupo Vips, Hilton Madrid Airport, KFC, Parques Reunidos, Serunión and UPS.
The second edition of the First Professional Experience project presented on May 31 at the headquarters of JP Morgan in Madrid will aim to improve the employability of 120 youngsters and enhance the career of 30 current participants.
Last year 65% of the participants went on to get an employment contract in the catering, tourism, leisure or logistics.
The project was recognized as one of the best CSR initiatives on an international level by the WTO for its commitment to the employability of young people at risk of exclusion.