THE Compagnons du Devoir scheme, which trains young people to a high level in trades, is seeking to boost its appeal by offering training up to undergraduate degree level.
The scheme traditionally takes people from as early as 15 and gives a training based on apprenticeship and travel around France to learn with professionals, called the Tour de France.
However the Compagnons are raising the alarm over a growing shortage in certain jobs such as mechanics, carpenters, electricians, bakers etc. This is due to retirement of older tradespeople and a lack of interest among younger generations.
Now it is aiming to persuade greater numbers of able young people to consider compagnonnage as an alternative to university, with the opening of La Grande Ecole des Hommes de Métiers en Compagnonnage – nationwide training opportunities aimed at people with the Bac, leading to qualifications including the CAP and degrees.
The training schemes, in partnership with the Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers, make use of a network of experts both in France and abroad, with time abroad built into the programmes.
Because of the high quality training and experience gained, students are guaranteed to find a job. “Grande Ecole” training could, for example, suit those aiming at foreman or managerial posts, technician jobs, becoming trainers or starting their own businesses.
Half days of information are organised weekly in local Maisons des Compagnons around France.
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