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Marriott International Maldives Celebrates Inaugural Graduation Ceremony for Apprenticeship Program – Hotelier Maldives

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Marriott International Maldives held a graduation ceremony on March 16, 2024, at Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa to commemorate the achievements of its first intake of apprentices for the Marriott International Maldives Apprenticeship Program. The event was attended by the esteemed Honorable Ibrahim Waheed, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts. Also present were Gautam Bhandari, Senior Vice President, Hotel Development & Operations, Marriott International, and Mark Fletcher, Area Director of Human Resources, Singapore & Maldives, Marriott International.

The Marriott International Maldives Apprenticeship Program, created in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment, and Maldives Institute of Technology (MIT), was launched as a pilot initiative on May 9, 2023. The partnership marked a significant milestone for both Marriott International and the government of Maldives, with Marriott International being the first international hospitality brand to collaborate with the government apprenticeship program.

Under the Marriott Apprenticeship Program, MIT provided the theoretical part of the curriculum, while participants gained practical experience across various disciplines at Marriott International’s portfolio of resorts in the Maldives, including The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, W Maldives, Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, and The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort.

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The ceremony celebrated the achievements of the first graduating class, comprising 43 young apprentices who were awarded Maldives Qualification Authority (MQA) approved level-3 certification for successfully completing the rigorous 10-month program. The program is designed to identify local talent, contributing to their inclusion in the Maldivian hospitality market as a Take Care initiative pertaining to Corporate Social Responsibility at Marriott International. Simultaneously, it aims to empower Maldivian youth, particularly those who are marginalized, by providing them with skills essential for success in the thriving tourism industry.

Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts, Honorable Ibrahim Waheed, expressed his admiration for the program’s dedication to fostering youth talent in the hospitality industry. Gautam Bhandari, Senior Vice President of Hotel Development & Operations, and Mark Fletcher, Area Director of Human Resources for Singapore & Maldives at Marriott International, delivered inspiring speeches, highlighting the significance of the partnership between Marriott International and the Maldivian government in promoting youth empowerment and professional development.

“The Marriott International Maldives Apprenticeship Program reflects our commitment to nurturing local talent and equip them with the skills to excel in the Maldives’ thriving tourism industry,” commented Gautam Bhandari on the occasion. “A number of graduates have been offered positions, and it brings us great joy to see them join the Marriott family. Their Marriott experience is poised to be rewarding and instrumental in supporting their career aspirations.”

The graduation ceremony represents a significant step towards building a successful pipeline of local talent in the Maldives, ultimately contributing to the growth and sustainability of the country’s tourism industry. Marriott International looks forward to the continued success and development of the program’s graduates as they embark on promising careers in the hospitality sector.

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