craft businesses are always attracting more young people
Crafts always attract more young people. At the start of 2023, and on the occasion of the 5th edition of the National Craft Apprenticeship Week which ends on February 3, the network of Chambers of Trades and Crafts (CMA) and the Government are collectively pleased with the increase in the number of vocational training staff working in craft businesses.
Since the “Professional Future” law of 2018, the French apprenticeship system continues to chain records – A “hit” in the eyes of Carole Grandjean, Minister responsible for Vocational Education and Training. Over the 2020-2021 period, approximately 176,000 young people were trained by craftsmen, all sectors of activity combined, which represented a jump of 14% compared to 2019 and a record level since 2010. The BTS (patent senior technician) was particularly affected by this phenomenon, with the workforce having taken off by 69% in just one year.
And this enthusiasm continued in 2022: the CMAs recorded 112,000 apprentices in the crafts last year, an increase of 2.5%. According to figures from the consular network, 90% of them have prepared a level 3 to 5 diploma, which corresponds to the CAP (certificate of professional aptitude) at Bac+2, and 80% have succeeded in obtaining a employment within seven months of graduation.
Public support for hiring
Good news on which the executive did not fail to bounce back. “In this period when many of our young people are questioning the meaning they want to give to their work, I hope that we can continue to value, among the youngest, this intelligence of the hand which is the pride of our countries thanks to the excellence of our training and the high quality of our know-how”rejoiced Olivia Grégoire, the minister in charge of VSEs-SMEs (very small, small and medium-sized enterprises) and crafts.
And to make the link with issues raised since the Covid pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine : “These are job vector jobs for our territories and which are essential to guarantee our economic sovereignty in many respects”. This situation can also be perceived as an encouraging sign, whereas manual sectors, such as construction, are still unattractive and are experiencing persistent recruitment difficulties.
“From construction trades to catering trades, apprenticeship enables the training of thousands of young people for jobs with a future and under pressure”underlined Carole Grandjean. “We continue to support craftsmen who embark on this path by perpetuating the unique aid for hiring work-study students until the end of the five-year term. This is essential to pass the milestone of one million apprentices in 2027. and we know we can count on the craftsmen.” As a reminder, the Government has effectively decided to extend the aid of €6,000 until the end of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term.
Young people, help for energy renovation and the digital transition
Within the CMAs, the objective of the National Craft Apprenticeship Week is to introduce people to training, trades and companies through open days in the 137 CFAs (apprentice training centers) in the network. . Young people also have the opportunity to interact with artisans, trainers or apprentices in training via conferences or webinars.
“The craft industry recruits in all sectors, at all levels of diplomas, our doors are wide open!”insisted the president of CMA France, Joël Fourny. “Training through apprenticeship in crafts is clearly a path to excellence as well as a path to the future.” An observation shared by building stakeholders, including the Capeb (Confederation of crafts and small building companies), which yesterday held a conference on the relationship between new and old generations in the world of work, and in this case construction.
Industry professionals believe that so-called Generation Z, i.e. people born between 1997 and 2010, represent “an essential breeding ground” to help them meet the challenges of energy renovation and the digital transition. This event gave rise to the publication, in partnership with the CCCA-BTP (Committee for consultation and coordination of apprenticeship in building and public works), of a white paper entitled “Traditional construction companies and generation Z, a winning duo”.
The purpose of the book is to change the way young people look at the sector and try to give new impetus so that both “worlds” meet and collaborate. Because the question of recruitment remains at the heart of the problem: insofar as 90% of the building stock will have to be renovated in the coming years in order to be less energy-intensive, and while construction companies are already struggling to hire – of qualified work, future apprentices (and therefore employees) are logically courted by professionals.
“However, it is just as obvious that 15-25 year olds (…) know little or have a low-value vision of small business and construction. Admittedly, building craftsmen are the first employers of apprentices. But the fact remains that many young people consider the sector as a ‘default’ path, even a professional and social dead end”, judges the Capeb. Hence the emphasis placed on the concrete aspect or on the famous quest for meaning, between personal fulfillment and balance between private and professional life, of the building trades. To try to counter, again and again, their image deficit.