Renault Trucks works with secondary schools in the Calvados region to raise awareness about the world of manufacturing
If you don't go to the company, the company will come to you! This was the objective a Renault Trucks team from Blainville-sur-Orne set itself designed to inform secondary school children in the Calvados region of France about its activity. Via a number of different instructional and entertaining workshops, this Renault Trucks vocational guidance project allows pupils on the verge of deciding which career path they should follow to find out about different occupations in manufacturing and start to plan their professional future. Other initiatives by Renault Trucks introducing young people to the world of road transport have already been implemented. These include issuing an educational kit and a strip cartoon designed to raise awareness of road safety issues, as well as the partnership with the Word Truck.
Because pupils in the last year at secondary school are starting to think about their future careers, and because they know little about activities associated with truck manufacturing, the Renault Trucks Blainville-sur-Orne plant in France decided to launch a Renault Trucks vocational guidance operation, sending out a team to meet young people at this decisive stage of their education. The operation reflects a desire to help them find out about careers in manufacturing, generate a demand for further education and also reveal the possibilities that can be opened up with higher level qualifications.
Since April 2008, five secondary schools in the Calvados region have welcomed the Renault Trucks vocational guidance team. The programme usually starts with an overall introduction to the company followed, not by long lectures, but by workshops giving an "overall view" of trucks as well as others focused on more specialised fields such as bodywork, painting, cab fit and finish, logistics, manufacturing equipment, cable harnesses and truck assembly. These create the right conditions for pupils to clearly see what is involved, get some "hands-on" experience and relate to it, as well as put all their questions to the workshop leaders.
In the end, it turns out that the logistics workshop is extremely popular and that girls are just as interested in the activities presented as the boys. The 15 most motivated youngsters are then given the opportunity of actually visiting the Blainville-sur-Orne site. This can even lead to one of the college pupils being offered a work experience opportunity.
The Renault Trucks staff members taking part in this project are proud to be able to pass on their expertise and feel genuinely involved in the operation. Some of the pupils really do find their vocation after taking part in the forum, as the young Nicolas tells us: "I really liked this half day with Renault Trucks, because it gave me the opportunity of understanding the difference between maintenance and
mechanics. It helped me realise that I would rather do a three-year professional baccalaureate course in mechanics than in maintenance, because I am better at it."
The Renault Trucks vocational guidance programme is just one example of the projects RT organises to raise young peoples' awareness of trucks and the transport industry. In this context, the educational kit Living with the Giants of the Road, sent out to primary schools close to the Renault Trucks plants in Lyon, Bourg-en-Bresse, Limoges and Blainville-sur-Orne, helped pupils understand more about road safety and the role road haulage plays in the economy. The strip cartoon Charly and the Truckers, distributed to members of the public at various events, was designed with the same purpose. Finally, Renault Trucks' partnership with the Word Truck enabled children all over France to become more familiar with the French language in an entertaining way on board a new generation Renault Magnum. Participants' comments on the Renault Trucks vocational guidance programme:
"I very much enjoyed the Renault Trucks day, because we took part in the activities. It was interesting, I didn't realise it was so complex. But that enabled me to see Renault Trucks in a new light." Myriam, secondary school pupil.
"The morning on Renault Trucks was interesting. The people who presented the workshops were qualified and knew what they were talking about! This morning helped me develop my knowledge of mechanics and was very instructive." Alexandre, secondary school pupil.
"The Renault Trucks day was good and interesting, especially when we were on board the truck." Laury, secondary school pupil.
"I thought it was very good, and very well explained. We really found out lots about what they do. The activities were interesting." Corentin, secondary school pupil.
"125 pupils from the last two years took part in this operation. It was remarkable to see how attentive and involved they were during this day. At the end of it, some said they would like to do work experience at Renault Trucks, while others wanted to work in one of the sectors presented, asking teachers if they could find them appropriate training (…). This day helped pupils develop their own personal projects and become familiar with the activities of a company that most of them only know by name. The various activities showed our teachers that this was a team very keen to communicate the enthusiasm they have for their job and the pride they have in their company. The overall appraisal of this operation was more than positive. They are now asking to have more projects of this kind." Sylvain, former assistant headmaster at the Henri Sellier secondary school (Colombelles, France).