Publish on 09/05/2019
Ever since the signing of an undertaking to establish the employment & skills development programme (EDEC), followed by the implementation of a regional performance agreement signed in October 2018, the Grand Chantier teams have worked tirelessly to support the site’s and region’s employees and businesses in their efforts to pursue their careers. A brief overview of the latest success stories supporting employment and skills development.
Retaining the skills acquired on the Flamanville EPR construction site
We met with Nathalie, who works for AFPA Transitions and who has been a member of the employment & skills development team ever since it was established. She proudly described the recent months’ achievements, which were made possible not only by the involvement of the employment & skills development team but also by that of the businesses and employees with whom she interacts as part of her job. “It’s like a marriage – everyone does their bit, everyone contributes!” The comparison may make you smile, but the proof is there. Representatives from AF Contrôle, SPIE and BST, with whom we spoke about the personalised employment & skills development support programme, all took the time to come and meet Grand Chantier with a real employment and economic plan in hand. The employment plan first and foremost, with the intention of retaining several employees currently in possession of a temporary employment contract or in possession of a contract covering the duration of the project, with a view to hiring them on a permanent basis. And then the economic plan, which focuses on helping to grow businesses thanks to newly acquired skills, either within the nuclear industry or within the region. In order to assist companies with this employment process, the employment & skills development team not only provides support and advice but also compiles funding applications for employee training. A little bit of help, nonetheless amounting to hundreds of training hours ranging from specific non-destructive testing to qualifying courses that enable people to find work on nuclear power plants, funded by ADEC*. This means that workers can continue to receive their wages while being trained. Initial results have been positive: about 15 employees have had the opportunity to receive training and sign a permanent employment contract, with another 15 well on the way. Things are looking good!
Helping businesses to change course
We visited the Cherbourg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), with whom EDF has signed a partnership agreement to assist locally-based small and medium-sized enterprises with their business-transition plans. We met with Ludovic, a consultant who advises the industry’s businesses. Since the beginning of the year, he has already met with about 10 companies working for the EPR and who are now keen to start planning their business transition. Ludovic and his team meet with them, listen to their concerns and advise them on their business strategies. “The skills acquired on the EPR project are valuable and depending on a company’s plans, can be used for performing work on EDF’s nuclear fleet”, Ludovic explains. In addition to holding business meetings across the region, the CCI and EDF set up personalised meetings with EDF’s industrial divisions and the UTO’s contractor qualification department in order to clarify the process for becoming a contractor on EDF’s nuclear power plants. Contract opportunities, supplier certification processes, administrative arrangements, etc. Everything is closely scrutinised so that local companies can obtain all the information they need to file their applications for supplier certification. “Four meetings have already taken place and more will be held whenever a company requests one”, says Ludovic in conclusion.
Employee advice is close at hand
While walking through the main lobby of the EPR construction site’s administrative building, we met up with Myriam (MEF: Maison de l’Emploi et de la Formation), Adeline and Séverine (Pôle Emploi). From 11.15 to 13.30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they run an employment advisory forum geared towards temporary workers, fixed-term workers and workers in possession of a contract covering the duration of the project. This forum provides workers with information and advice.
Set up in June 2017 right next to the construction site, the advisory forum has now relocated to the centre of the site, in immediate reach of the workers. “We have moved closer to the workforce and this initiative is hugely appreciated”, Myriam explains. Learning about one’s rights to training, employment opportunities, remunerative projects within the region or about redeployment procedures: such are the objectives of this initial encounter with the employees. “Depending on their circumstances and their career plans, these exchanges may continue in the form of more personalised interviews with an advisor from Pôle Emploi or MEF”, says Myriam. Since March, about 60 employees have been given information and advice whilst about 15 have attended personalised interviews in order to seek further advice. In order to sustain this level of interest, subject-specific workshops are held on a regular basis, focusing on topics like setting up a business, applying for a personal training account or pension rights.
* Employment and Skills Development Fund