Skills for Empowerment

The Skills for Empowerment initiative was developed in partnership with Diageo and CARE International UK and implemented by Chrysalis and Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts.

The project focused on providing the primary skills required to secure jobs in the hotel sector.




Chrysalis sought to replicate a previously developed effective model to gear the empowerment of women and youth in securing career opportunities in the hospitality sector. This model supported young people in developing the skills necessary to obtain employment and in turn, provided the sector with a skilled workforce, while simultaneously encouraging a culture of internal training in hotels and creating a better understanding of the industry in rural communities where many negative perceptions flourish.

  • The project aimed to replicate this model in 7 properties of Cinnamon Hotels in Sri Lanka. The selected students were given exposure to the main departments of the hotel in terms of food and beverage, kitchen, housekeeping and front office for a period of one month.
  • This was followed by a specialized area of training for 3 months, depending on the interest and skill sets of the students, along with English Language training.
  • The technical training wrapped up with the provision of on-the-job (OTJ) training. On completion of the training, an NVQ certification was provided.
  • Chrysalis provided soft skills training to these students, including themes such as conflict sensitivity, leadership, communication and financial management.

To build on the results of the research conducted, “Barriers to Recruiting and Retaining Youth, Including Women, to the Hospitality Industry in Sri Lanka” to make appropriate and informed recommendations to industry actors in order to address the issues and improve the image of the sector as a rewarding and safe workplace with progressive career options.

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