Posted on Sep 21. 2022, 17:58Updated on Sep 21, 2022 at 5:59 PM
From the age of fifteen they had already had both feet in the world of work. A promotion of 12 students enters the new production school in Stains (Seine-Saint-Denis), called Iron Academy, promoted by the TotalEnergies Foundation. In a newly opened metalworking shop, these young school leavers, ages 15 to 18, produce parts that are sold directly to businesses, communities and individuals in the region.
They have taken up residence in a 1,000 m2 building adjacent to that of the training organization Indutreet, which in turn welcomes students aged 18 to 30 who are destined for stressful jobs in industry. While production schools are often initiated by SMEs that cannot find enough qualified workers in their field, the Stains school has been pressured by the TotalEnergies foundation. “It’s an idea that seemed both simple and common sense to me,” says Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, convinced of the model for years.
Target 50 young people
The needs of local entrepreneurs have been diagnosed with the help of the National Federation of Production Schools (FNEP). “I have met about fifty companies and the most pressing needs in Seine-Saint-Denis are metalworking, wood and machining,” notes Françoise Candier, the school’s executive director.
In this state-approved private technical education institution – halfway between the learning center and the secondary vocational school – young people prepare a CAP in two years. For the time being, 8 out of 9 have passed the first promotion last year. “We expect another 6 young people this year for a total of 18 and about fifty in 3 years’ time,” the director indicates. The opening of a vocational baccalaureate preparation is also under study.
In order to get the school going, 1 million euros in equipment was provided by the TotalEnergies Foundation and the State through the recovery plan. The operating budget, currently 300,000 euros, should be 600,000 euros when the workforce is complete. A third is financed by production and the rest comes from the Ile de France region and the state.
Companies in the area, as well as communities such as Le Bourget and Saint-Ouen, are already buying these productions, which are sold at market price. For young people, this school is an opportunity to familiarize yourself with a profession and to gain access to a job as an employee in a local company after they leave.
100 schools in 2028
Thus, this type of training fills a dire need when 200,000 industry vacancies are to be filled and the unemployment rate for people under 30 has reached 19%. Especially in Seine-Saint-Denis, a department with the poorest and youngest population in France.
And the model has the wind in its sails. Under the impulse of the government, the number of production schools is only increasing. “We currently have 55 schools and we hope to have 70 by 2023,” said Vanessa Dequidt, head of school development at FNEP. 100 should be operational by 2028.
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