Posted on September 21, 2022 at 5:58 pmUpdated September 21, 2022 at 5:59 p.m
From the age of fifteen, they stepped into the world of work with both feet. Promotion 12 students enter a new production school in Stains (Seine-Saint-Denis) called Iron Academy, supported by the TotalEnergies Foundation. In a metalworking workshop that has just opened, these young school leavers between the ages of 15 and 18 produce parts sold directly to businesses, communities and individuals in the region.
They have settled in a 1,000 m2 building next to the building of the educational organization Industreet, which welcomes students between the ages of 18 and 30 who want to be employed in the tension of industry. While production schools are often created on the initiative of small and medium-sized enterprises that cannot find enough qualified workers in their field of employment, the Škvrny school was promoted by the TotalEnergies foundation. “It’s an idea that seemed simple and at the same time full of common sense,” says Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, who has been convinced of this model for years.
Target 50 young people
With the help of the National Federation of Manufacturing Schools (FNEP), a diagnosis of the needs of local entrepreneurs was initiated. “I met with about fifty companies and the most pressing needs in Seine-Saint-Denis are metalworking, woodwork and machining,” notes Françoise Candier, the school’s executive director.
In this state-recognized private technical education facility – halfway between an apprenticeship center and a secondary vocational school – young people prepare their SPP in two years. Currently 8 out of 9 passed the first promotion course last year. “This year we expect 6 more young people, 18 in total and about fifty within 3 years,” the director states. In the stage of study, the opening of a preparatory course for the vocational high school diploma is also under way.
To start the school, the TotalEnergies Foundation and the state provided equipment in the amount of 1 million euros through the renovation plan. The operating budget, currently 300,000 euros, should reach 600,000 euros after the completion of the workforce. 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 get to know the profession and, after leaving, get a job as a worker in a local company.
100 schools in 2028
This type of education thus fulfills an urgent need when 200,000 jobs are to be filled in industry and the unemployment rate of people under 30 has reached 19%. Especially in Seine-Saint-Denis, the department with the poorest and youngest population in France.
And the model has wind in its sails. The number of production schools is only increasing due to the initiative of the public authorities. “We currently have 55 schools and hope to have 70 open by 2023,” says Vanessa Dequidt, head of school development at FNEP. Stovka should be in operation by 2028.
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