Modern apprenticeship from the Middle Ages

Bakers can learn on the job as they embark on a career Tour de France

One way to join the best trained and most respected craftsmen and women in France is to sign up with Les Compagnons du Devoir, an organisation which has passed on skills from generation to generation since the Middle Ages.

Over the past eight centuries, Les Compagnons (  have been involved in the building of cathedrals, the Eiffel Tower and many other landmarks.

In the 21st century, they have moved with the times and train people in the skills of today and the future.

Unesco has included the organisation in its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, which includes practices that are considered to be part of a place’s cultural heritage.

It is a unique form of education in France.

Anyone with a passion for one of 30 skilled trades, including bakers, mechanics, carpenters, stonemasons, roofers, shoemakers and metal-workers, and the motivation to learn as much about their trade as possible can become part of it.

It is based on a system of apprenticeship where professionals pass their savoir-faire to the younger generation.

First, you have to have an initial professional diploma, which can be a CAP or a Bac ...

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