Renault Trucks has set itself the target of getting young people to think seriously about seeking jobs in manufacturing. With commitments to schools, colleges, high schools and further education institutions, the manufacturer is making a particular effort to help new generations of young men and women find out more about employment opportunities in these fields. An exhibitor at the upcoming Worldskills Fair in Lyon, Renault Trucks is also pursuing several initiatives throughout the year.
During the next Worldskills Fair, which will take place at Eurexpo (Lyon) from 2 to 5 February 2012, Renault Trucks will be exhibiting on the ANFA (National Association for Automotive Training) stand to highlight the employment openings available in the truck industry.
Renault Trucks is involved in several initiatives aimed at young people to help them find out about the automotive industry and inspire vocations. "Our company and the industry in general offer a great many undeniable advantages which young people do not know enough about," observes Guy Bravais, in charge of partnerships with schools at Renault Trucks. "As a major player in the industry, we have a duty to make them aware of what the world of manufacturing is all about."
Nothing can match giving visitors an opportunity of visiting production plants and getting first-hand experience of the manufacturing environment. This initiative is particularly focused on pupils in their last year of secondary school (crucial in the process of choosing a career), students in engineering or business schools, but also teachers, so that they can talk to their pupils about the world of manufacturing more knowledgeably. All these moves have resulted in success, since in 2011, 2,100 pupils, students and teachers visited the Lyon site alone!
At every visit, pupils' and teachers' preconceptions quickly disappear as soon as they become aware of the atmosphere prevailing among the teams and on the production lines, the variety of skills involved and the high proportion of women to be seen in every field of activity. Accompanied by a guide, the students discover the diversity of tasks, cutting-edge technologies and organisation that are to be found on a manufacturing site. They go away with ideas of various different opportunities and a realisation that careers in manufacturing have a future for women, as well as men.
This was for example the case at Blainville-sur-Orne, when a class of last year pupils from the Henri-Brunet secondary school in Caen visited the plant during the Company-School week. They were able to find out many details about activities in several workshops on the site - from the design office to final assembly and even what is involved in effluent management. Throughout this week their schooling continued with classes from their regular teachers held in the plant's meeting rooms. This total immersion in all the activity of manufacturing at a plant with a workforce of over 2,500 was a real eye-opener for them - offering an opportunity to see careers in manufacturing from a different viewpoint.
Similarly, Renault Trucks is involved with several educational associations such as Entreprendre pour apprendre (Learning from enterprise). Active in all parts of France, this association enables high school students to set up mini-companies, each one of which is sponsored by a representative from the professional world. These sponsors contribute their knowledge of business to the students, helping them set up their companies and keep them running. The best of these projects earn awards in a regional and national competition.
As far as higher education is concerned, Renault Trucks and the Volvo Group support students via partnerships with major schools such as EMLYON, ECAM or INSA to encourage interaction between the student and corporate worlds.
Renault Trucks also places great importance on meeting young people. This includes during trade shows such as Solutrans, which takes place at the end of the year, or during career option conferences such as the "Orientation-Alternance” forum organised by the town of Vénissieux (69). All these meetings offer opportunities for presenting the technological challenges the truck building industry will have to face in the coming decades and which will call for the development of the appropriate skills. They are also designed to demonstrate the dynamic drive that motivates the industry as a whole.