Developing job skills for youth and underemployed
One of the distinct benefits of a hostel in your community, that is often overlooked, is the potential for skills development amongst the young and underemployed.
Learning skills by making mistakes
Working at a hostel from 18 years old, I learnt to cook, to repair, deal with problems, communicate and handle money.
They were not big projects, the potential for disaster if I’d got something wrong was not so dramatic – and that I think was the benefit. I learnt by making mistakes, by having a go and doing my best.
Working in a hostel meant wearing many hats during the day, often coming in from gardening and mowing lawns, or repairing blocked drains and broken windows to cook food, be a receptionist and shop keeper and tourist guide.
In a well-run hostel this also introduced me to high standards of food hygiene, presentation, cleanliness, risk assessments and fire safety. Cash handling and balancing the books near midnight were a strain on a young mind, as was waking to cook breakfasts and mass produce hundreds of sandwiches – a process that required a sort of efficiency and attention to detail any time and motion analyst would be proud of.
I had to think on my feet, deal with anything, use my initiative and take responsibility.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow up, as I did, working in youth hostels each summer. Sadly many hostels have had to close and be sold to meet the association’s financial needs. Many buildings were I think bequeathed at a time when attitudes were different and the needs were for city kids and people of limited means to get access to the countryside via affordable accommodation.
Rural kids and underemployed need new job opportunities
I would now suggest there is a need for the kids and underemployed in rural locations to get the same chances as their urban friends to learn by experience, to mix with people from all over the world and to realise their potential.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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