For Antoine Frérot ‘The development of apprenticeships is vital for the economic and social integration of young people and for the Group's performance.’

The documentary ‘À quatre mains’, which will be aired on 15 October on France 5, presents the paths of four trainer-apprentice pairs in industry, craft trades, skilled trades, and services. At its preview at the headquarters of the Hauts-de-France Region in Lille, Veolia’s Chairman and CEO, Antoine Frérot, presented his view of apprenticeships.

Antoine Frérot, Veolia Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
While 70% of young people who have followed apprenticeship training find a job seven months after the end of their contract, this path of excellence for training and integration is still not promoted enough in France today. Only 10% of young French people follow apprenticeship training which is four times less than in Germany and six times less than in Switzerland.
In the second quarter of 2019, 19% of young people were unemployed, double the unemployment rate. This exclusion of young people from the labour market divides society at a time when our company is actually looking for skills to support the transformation of its businesses and increase the value it creates for its industrial and municipal customers.
Faced with such a human, social, and economic challenge, the divide between young people and companies needs to be reduced and the image of apprenticeship, improved. We must also experiment in this field with new, more concrete, and more direct forms of cooperation between regions and companies as our Purpose illustrates.
Antoine Frérot
VEOLIA CHAIRMAN AND CEO

Promoting apprenticeships through synergies between businesses and regions

Business is often an unknown world for young people. To discover trades and encourage vocations, the Apprenticeship ambassador system, for example, enables lower and upper secondary school students from the Hauts-de-France region to meet professionals, some of whom come from Veolia.

 

Apprenticeship is still experienced as a default choice by young people. That is why, in support of the documentary ‘À quatre mains’ (1), a communication campaign is tackling these prejudices to improve the image of apprenticeships: the development of the relationship between the trainers and apprentices in the documentary shows how the value of this human relationship helps young people find their place, come into their own, and achieve their dreams. 

Veolia's commitment to apprenticeships is part of its long history and still essential for its trades which are constantly evolving. This reinforces the pride of belonging of its tutors and trainers who strive to transmit Veolia’s expertise and values. 

 

(1) View the excerpt from the documentary on apprenticeship training À quatre mains’ which will be aired on France 5, Tuesday 15 October, during Marina Carrère d'Encausse’s show ‘Le Monde en face’ at 8.55 p.m.

 

In addition to the documentary, seven ‘Apprenticeships, you’ve got a lot to learn’ videos will be posted on social networks from 16 October to directly reach young people and their parents by fighting against preconceived ideas: apprenticeships are not for girls; apprenticeships are too difficult; apprenticeships means a manual trade, etc. which complements the steps initiated by ANAF (National Apprentices Association of France), such as ‘film your job’.

 

Apprentices and their trainers form deep bonds: know-how and life skills go hand in hand, vocations are born, and destinies are forged.

 

On one of the Veolia Campuses, a former apprentice, age 26, testifies:

Apprenticeship is a real life changer. Working, even alternately, makes you grow up and helps you to project yourself and think about your future. The experience that I will always remember is when I first met my apprenticeship trainer. My trainer had a very high idea of apprenticeship training and its stakes. I met a great person who supported me and helped me graduate, and I’m still in contact with him now.

Veolia chooses apprenticeship to support its strategy

Veolia has 1 636 work-study trainees, including 800 apprentices, in France this year. The Group has a major goal for the future: to have 2 500 work-study trainees in France in three years time, through a work-study pact, to support the development of its strategy. 

This approach is replicated internationally, especially in England and Northern Europe, as well as in South America and, recently, Morocco, where a comprehensive apprenticeship offer is deployed, benefiting from Seine and North Campus experience sharing. In all, Veolia trains 2 600 work-study trainees worldwide. The Group also partners with various groups to promote work-study programmes, such as the Collective of French Companies in Favour of a more Inclusive Economy, the GAN network  and the Foundation for Innovative Apprenticeships (FIPA).