Make sense of: fake practice offices in France

The unemployment rate in France went down earlier this year for the first time in six years. It means that it has dropped from its record of 10.5% in 2013 to 8.5% (March-June 2019 figure). But the rate is still one of the highest in Europe, although behind Greece, Spain and Italy. We look at two schemes that France uses to get people into work, including a network of 110 “pretend” offices where 7,000 people go to “work” every day across the country.

Pretend offices are fully working offices.

They have desks, a wall clock, computers, order books and jobs to perform, as in the real world – except the firms do not trade and are just for practice.

The offices are set up to teach professional skills to people looking for a job.

They allow trainees to get up to speed with new practices.

Working methods have changed fast with digitalisation so this helps workers get the necessary experience to be more employable.

Pretend offices are fully working, with desks, a clock on the wall, computers, order books – and jobs to perform

The “workers” can be adults, but students are welcome if they are motivated and have a ...

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