Cergy, May 27, 2019 – Since mid-February, SPIE Facilities, the French subsidiary of SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been trialling a 16-month-long recruitment initiative, combining intensive training courses with work-linked training, aimed at 12 maintenance technicians operating in south-eastern France. This innovative programme was made possible thanks to the partnership forged between the Institute of Industrial Resources in Lyons, the Public Employment Service office in Rillieux-la-Pape, and Constructys, a skilled operator in the building trade.
With 150 maintenance technicians on its books in 2018, recruitment constitutes a key issue for SPIE Facilities, in a sector where qualified individuals are rather scarce.
To ensure that it could continue to offer the best possible quality of service to its clients, the SPIE France subsidiary launched, in early 2019, an innovative trial programme combining Operational Preparation for Employment (OPE) and a professional training contract. This ground breaking programme aims to train 12 maintenance technicians forming part of the teams at the sites in Beynost, Saint-Etienne, Echirolles, Annecy, Vallauris and Dijon, all located in south-eastern France.
A customised programme jointly developed with a training body
Devised in partnership with the Institute of Industrial Resources (IIR), the programme involves two stages: a 10-week-long OPE phase (February-April 2019), including three weeks spent in the company, followed by a 12-month professional training contract, beginning on 2 May. In July 2020, the ‘apprentices’ will then be awarded their ‘heating, ventilation and air-conditioning maintenance engineer’ diplomas (level V qualification). For Fabien Houdeville, the Head of the Professional Training Department at the IIR, the programme is unlike any other due to the joint study into the training engineering that was carried out: “The training team visited one of SPIE Facilities’ sites in order to fully appreciate what the job involved and what the values of the company were. Once on site, they were able to discuss what was needed for finalising the training modules with technicians, operators and human resources managers, so that they could meet SPIE’s requirements in full.”
A unique opportunity for professional integration
The second key factor behind the success of the programme is the close partnership that has been forged with the Public Employment Service (Rillieux-la-Pape office) in selecting the candidates and putting the OPE processes in place. In all, 70 people having an interest in electronics and electricity and holding category B driving licenses were identified and invited to attend information meetings. The attendants who were attracted to the prospects on offer then signed up to the recruitment process, which ended with a personal interview. This formed a vital step for testing whether or not they could be integrated within SPIE Facilities’ teams. In the end, 12 people aged between 21 and 44 were selected. “This method is very attractive to people who are far removed from the labour market or who quite simply want to gain new skills in order to steer their careers in a different direction. It is also very reassuring to be accompanied all the way along the process, and to be practically certain of being given a job at the end of it,” sums up Ghislaine Quesnel, a corporate relations consultant at the Public Employment Service office.
Promoting the spreading of expertise
In all, 12 tutors have been selected and have received specific training at the Construction and Civil Engineering Training Institute so that they can support and guide the apprentices during the courses and help them to maximise their potential. “It is an initiative that promotes development and shows just how much faith we have in our experienced employees and in their ability to pass on their skills to the next generation,” says Sylvia Fenger, SPIE Facilities’ Human Resources Director. “We are also seeking to use this trial to develop the management capabilities of our teams,” she adds.
Once its success has been proven, this pilot programme is expected to be rolled out to SPIE Facilities’ other operational divisions, especially those that are experiencing the greatest growth, such as the fire safety division. It may also be shared with SPIE France’s other subsidiaries, as an exemplary and innovative recruitment programme.
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