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Apprenticeship at the heart of the Château de Lacroix-Laval conversion project

Webdoc 10

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From Iran to Marseilles: blazing a trail and giving old stones a new life

Webdoc 9

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Building a castle and a professional career

Webdoc 8

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Six Student Researchers on an Antarctic Mission

Webdoc 7

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Building a Future by Restoring Heritage

Webdoc 6

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Helping Jobseekers Find Their Feet

Webdoc 5

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Apprentice Shipbuilder

Webdoc 4

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Raising Awareness Among School Children, Tomorrow’s Road Safety Ambassadors

Webdoc 3

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From Apprentice to Entrepreneur

Webdoc 2

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A Young Woman in a Male-Dominated Industry

Webdoc 1

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I’m Andrea, 20 years old.
I’m training to become a parts machinist.

Andréa’s father:
Hi, Andrea!

Andréa’s mother:
Hello there, kitten!

Andréa :
I’m going to be making parts using machines.
I’ll firt do the programming on hi-tech machines.
The parts could be for cars, airplanes or medical equipment.

Andréa’s mother:
We’re proud of her because she has chosen her path.
She has a great deal of character, so I think it really suits her.
It’s pretty much a man’s world, so it’s really good for her.

What made me want to attend this school ?
Firstly, the job, which I adored when I did a training course here.
And also, the fact of learning something practical.

I’m a very meticulous person.
I like everything to be clean and perfect.
Making perfect parts makes me happy all day!
I’ve already trained some guys on certain machines. There weren’t any problems, they were actually happy.
Because I like the pedagogic side and students helping each other out. So we had no problems at all.
Since I started, there were times when I had doubts, as I couldn’t accomplish certain things. And my fellow students with 2 years more experience than me managed very well.
But I managed to climb the slope, and now I think I’m doing really well. I think I’ll be a good machinist.

I’m lucky to live in a region where a lot of women do traditionally male jobs.
My best girlfriend is a coachbuilder, for example. So I’ve never even questioned whether I could do a man’s job or not. To me, it was only natural.

I want to pass on the idea that women shouldn’t let themselves be trampled on by men.
We should do what we really enjoy. It’s pointless to spend your life in a job you don’t like.
So if you want to do a job that’s more manual, and manlier, as people say, then go ahead and do it!

I think men and women complement each other in this job, beacause men have the muscle, along with their brains. Whereas women have brains, and then muscle. I’d say it’s that order! (Laughs)


I’m Thibaut, 24 years old.
I’m started my own company in 2016, specialized in 3D printing and machining.
There are two partners: Valentin and me.
In September, we took on an apprentice on a cooperative education contract.
We also have two trainees, plus my dog!

Our machining work is for industrial subcontracting, in the food industry, with special machines and maintenance.
The 3D printing is for spare parts and prototypes.

After finishing junior-high school, I didn’t know what to do. And in Lyon, I happened accross the Gorge de Loup Apprentice Workshop. I knew nothing about mechanics, it was totally by chance. But it was so interesting, I spent 6 years there.
I passed my 2 high-school exams, and then my Technician Certificate, alternating study and work. And a friend and I decided to star tour own company.

I wanted to start my own company so I could be involved at every stage: customer relations, establishing estimates… A bit of everything. Because as an employee in a big company, you work only in machining, or in sales, or in methods.I wanted my own company so
I would deal on my own with eventual problems.

In this school, students aren’t being prepared for a diploma, but for a trade. Companies know that a graduate from Gorge de Loup will be much more competent than a graduate from any other trade-based high-school.

Such schools needs to diversify. Not just in mechanics, but in every trade that’s hiring, and there are lots of them in France. They’re off a good start, bu it needs to go further.

It’s also a school of life.
It teaches values like respect, patience, and notably precision.
Because it’s high-precision mechanics, down to the nearest micrometer. Yes, it’s a school of life.

VIA : Making young people actors of their own Road Safety

Anne-Valérie Troy – VIA program coordinator TotalEnergies Foundation and Michelin Foundation :
Road accidents are the primary cause of death of young people aged 5-29 worldwide. That means more than 500 young people die on the road every day worldwide.
The equivalent of two full airplanes crashing every day!

So we must take action to make young people more aware so as to stop this masacre.

VIA is an educational programme launched in partnership with the Michelin Foundation to inform and educate young people about Road Safety. It targets 10- to 18-years olds.

Agnès Junet – Pro2Cycles/Planète-Vélo trainer:
The VIA programme involves educating via a project. The young people must set up a project to improve Road Safety around their own schools.
The programme concerns all road-users: pedestrians, cyclists, scooter-riders and car passengers.
It’s a really innovative structure. Instructors don’t tell students what they have to learn by heart, what the rules are, etc. They’re there to guide them.

Anne-Valérie Troy:
When we were designing the VIA programme, we took past experiences into account, and we started thinking of a method by which we could make young people actors of the programme. So they’re the heart of the programme, they do the thinking about the possible risks and the solutions to avoid them.

Agnès Junet:
Before taking part, they didn’t feel concerned. They thought the Highway Code and Road Safety only concerned car drivers. But as we saw them evolve during the programme, they gradually took things on board.

Student 1:
I was an actor in the exercise and I received information part of which was already stored away in my head. But I no longer used it, so I rediscovered it again.

Student 2:
What we were taught is very important and we should do things like that.

Student 3:
What we did was interesting… and pratical.

Student 1:
After the programme, I felt I had understood the things that are necessary and very important to do.

Student 2:
I’d invite all my friends to take part in the programme sot they can be made aware, like we were.

Anne-Valérie Troy:
VIA is in its experimental phase in three countries: in France, in the Lyon region, in Cameroon and in India. And it should be rolled out across the globe in the coming months.

The aim is to have 100,000 young people educated over the next three years. That’s just the first step, because we hope to attract other partners to the programme which would give it even more impact and allow us to roll it out in more cities and countries.

By 2020, this worldwide awareness programme will be rolled out to 100,00 young people.

My name is Leo, I have been an apprentice here since September. I grew up near a lock so I always saw boats. The setting was different as it was on a canal but I always liked it a lot. And I thought that kind of job no longer existed. I did carpentry before and when I found out that there was a high school that teached these skills, I decided to go there. So I finished my BTS and I move to Normandy to get my naval carpentry CAP.

Jean-Edouard Cardin:
Try to be a flush as possible and when the nails are almost at level you hit again. Make it smooth and neat. There are some millimeters left.

I’ll do the finishing touch with the little plane. All good, I’ll start now… see you later.

Jean-Edouard Cardin:
Leo is typically the kind of apprentice who has a great future ahead, because he loves his job, he is passionate, he’s clever and understands what he is told and he is completely autonomous.

I discovered the site last year when I had to do an internship for my CAP in navy carpentry. I came for a month doing a first internship and then the team accepted me as an apprentice. I still have to do one year before I graduate. The whole month I did here I was always impressed when I arrived on site. And even now when I see that we’re making progress, that we get to lift beautiful pieces and that it changes the appearance of the boat, it really makes me want to continue and see what’s next.

It’s unique in France, we had the Hermione in Rochefort, but it was a little smaller, and was from another navy era too. The navel carpentry today is more about pleasure boats or the fishing trawlers. But there isn’t another shipyard like this one in France. We select trees in the forest ourselves.
We really follow them from the forest to the shipyard here. If we have the opportunity to get already well-curved parts, which can fit the shapes that we will have on the boat, we must take the opportunity to have them.

I would like to continue the adventure, and to make it my job.

Wake up the stones, reveal the men

Cassis, Bouches-du Rhônes

My name is Pierre-Yves, I’m 32 years old, I live in La Ciotat.

I started working in the construction industry after doing a training course in electricity.
I was unemployed for roughly four years and I started working for Acta Vista when a position became available on the construction site of Port-Miou.

So now we are a team of eight people.
We all have different backsgrounds, the atmosphere is very good. Everyone provides their skills and know-how and helps others.

Jean-Michel SELVA – Formateur BAO Formation Acta Vista :
This project took place over three years, the first and second years were focused on the assembly of the old building and this year we focus on an AEB training.

We are restorating what is inside the building, the plasterboard, house painting, floors, plumbing and electricity.

When I wanted to start my own business I realized that to do what I wanted to do I needed skills in lots of different work sectors.

The AEB training, building maintenance agent, allows me to have a qualification in all business sectors that I target.
We’re bound to work on electricity, plumbing, wall coverings like platerboards and finishing touch components.

With Acta Vista we have the opportunity to both practice on the construction site and to be trained, which is a very good thing.
This is what interesting, to work on a full-sized site where we’re allowed to make some mistakes, so Jean-Michel is here to explain to us what we did wrong and supervises us while we fix our mistakes.

At the end of the work, the harbour master’s office will also become the gateway to the Calanques National Park.

A « must-see » to raise the awareness of the walkers and tourists at the National Park’s entrance.

Jean-Michel SELVA :
We’d love to stay on sites like this, not for life because we do need some change at some point, but we feel so good here… the sea, the view, the calm. It is an exceptional setting to work in.

In 2019, Acta Vista, pioneering structure for the professional qualification and integration of job-seekers, made it possible, for Pierre-Yves, Wajih, Jean-Philippe, Antoine, Philippe, Khalil, Yannick et Thomas to be trained during one year on this heritage’s restoration working site.

Port-Miou, a professional integration construction site is supported by TotalEnergies Foundation and the Fondation du Patrimoine.

Find your calling

Restoration of the waterwheel of the Saint-Gilles watermill
Rouen (Expotec – Normandie)

Sylvain ENGELHARD – Président of the social history center:
We are at the Saint-Gilles water mill, at Expotec 103, museum of the living industrial.
This water mill dates back to the 12th century.

The heart of the association is voluntary work.
It goes from the blacksmith to the electronics engineer, the computer engineer, electrician, mason…

We’re currently working on the restoration of the waterwhell.

You’ve met Alyu who’s in training here, who’s been participating in the professional integration project.

Hassan ALYU:
My name is Hassan Alyu, I’m 18 years old. I come from Nigeria. I’ve been in France for two years.

I worked on the integration project. I worked on the green spaces, cut trees, did some paving. Sometimes I work at the forge here as well. I find this very interesting.

The point is to have young people in the integration project who will meet the supervisors and the volunteers.
It creates an important diversity and prepares the young ones to the future.

There is also an heritage that needs to be saved. There isn’t only woodwork or masonry out there.
There are also machines and tools to restore, to restore and to switch back on.

Hassan ALYU:
There are some old stuff here that I didn’t know. But since I started coming here I learned a lot.

Expotec isn’t just a museum, it’s also an integration site.

Hassan Alyu worked 800 hours on the site and is working towards a metalworking professional training certificate.

The water mil will opens its doors to the public by the second semester of 2020 and will offer educational activities to school groups.

Antarctica 2.0°C is a scientific research campaign headed by six students from France's prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure higher education establishments with the aim of understanding and analyzing the impact of human activity on the Atlantic and the Southern Hemisphere whilst on board a sailing boat.

What's going on down there could more or less foreshadow what will happen here, providing us with ideas on how to adapt to climate change.

This is a six-month campaign. We'll be leaving Marseille for a six-week crossing of the Atlantic to Patagonia, passing through the Drake Passage to reach the Antarctic Peninsula during the southern summer. We will stay there for about two months before setting sail again to reach Lorient in March 2022.

We have six different scientific fields of interest between us, which we all work together on, such as studying marine ecosystems, particularly the ecosystem that captures CO2 in the ocean, climate phenomena such as precipitation, evaporation, ocean dynamics and the atmosphere, and the study of our surroundings. This may offer us an opportunity to see where humans and local fauna are situated there and how they thrive, factors which may or may not be impacted in different ways by the changing climate.

The objective is to share our knowledge and the data we have acquired with as many people as possible and to demonstrate that being a researcher also means conducting studies in the field. There’s more to it than just working in a lab, it’s also a profession that involves the outdoors and teamwork.

Setting sail with six people aboard a small boat offers us more flexible ways of collecting rainstorm, storm, sandstorm and snowstorm samples, for example, and to also reach ecosystems that are less accessible via larger boats.

The Louise is a 19-meter, polar schooner that was mainly designed and built for sailing in the Arctic sea, and this project is a great opportunity to set sail on it.

One of the challenges we faced was setting up a space, like an operating room or a space for building satellites, with a high level of cleanliness inside the boat to ensure reduced contamination of the collected samples. This is known as a clean room.

Several steps have to be taken when visiting Antarctica. You have to fill out a lot of authorization forms and justify arrival to the territory to be able to conduct research. Last year was extremely intense in terms of preparations and it may finally be time to get out there and make this trip a reality.

Fiona Mansais:
My name is Fiona, I spent a week on a volunteer work site at Chateauneuf-sur-Epte.

I am passionate about heritage and architecture and that’s why I did my studies in this field as well as in security.

Franck Bucher:
This location has a history rooted in the creation of Normandy's duchy. In 1097 Guillaume le Roux had this massive fortification built and today our association is there with several young people who accompany us on the construction site, the partners, the patrons, to bring back to life and entirely restore the site.

Melissa Michel:
We created this volunteer worksite training five years ago. This training happens every year during the month of August and we gather a group of young people and work on their professional skills and the needed abilities, everything that will be peripheral to an actual job.

It can be discovering a job, it can also be a professional project confirmation. Also to get a good life rhythm back, to get some self-confidence back, to feel useful and get out of your daily routine.

Fiona Mansais:
We cleaned the tower and sifted the ground to see if we could find some interesting elements. 

I am attracted to craftsmanship and artistic craftsmanship. For me, it was a good opportunity to test myself on manual work as well. I like outdoor sports so having to live in the open and sleep in tents also appealed to me. 

We did traditional masonry where we first learned how to build a wall and make mortar. What I enjoyed about traditional masonry is to work on a listed heritage building. 

Doing a manual activity and a form of craftsmanship but on a building that requires the use of specific techniques. 

I consider getting involved with an association, maybe the one that welcomed us during this volunteer work site project.

Pâquerette Demotes-Mainard:
Actavista is an association created in 2002 with the aim of using endangered historical heritage as a lever for training and qualifying people who are in a situation of economic and social precariousness in the territories.

Mahnaz Abbasi:
In Iran, my birth country, I was a sports engineer and a sports teacher. Here in France I didn't know what I could do, whether I wanted to get a different job or not. 

I've been thinking about it for two years, I met steeplejacks, they talked to me about their work and I liked it. It is an outdoor job, done high up, manual. I wanted to work on old buildings.

Samira Louragh:
Mahnaz was sent to us through Pôle emploi. It was a real discovery for her, she had no professional project when she arrived and she was facing several problems, especially in terms of driving licence and linguistics because she did not express herself as she expresses herself today. 

Actavista funded her steeplejack training. She’s been with us for ten months and it has really been a great success.

We're going to put the spirit level like this and check the bubble, we have to be right in the middle.

Mahnaz Abbasi:
We learned to build the walls, plaster, tiling, shuttering, insulation, it's my favorite… My grandfather’s house was built with materials that we currently use for insulation, earth and hemp. Maybe that's why I like it, it runs deep in our family.

Ooh it's good! We did it !

I have two projects. The first, I achieved, I am a steeplejack who works on old buildings. And the second is that I would like to resume my studies at university in maybe five to six years.

Webdocs from the Fondation TotalEnergies
#10 Restoration and Professionnal integration

Château de Lacroix-Laval, Marcy L’Étoile, Rhône
From september 2022, Training Center for Gastronomy Apprentices

Corentin Rémond
Director of the Training Center for Gastronomy Apprentices

We are entirely transforming the Castle of Lacroix-Laval into an Apprentice Training Center for (CFA) with real restaurants so we can train young people in real working conditions as they begin their career history.

Christian Têtedoie
President of the Training Center for Gastronomy Apprentices

The goal of the CFA is to prepare the young ones for their future and teach them what they have to expect about being a cook, a pastry chef, a baker or a waiter in this period of time.
It’s really handing them the keys to success.

Corentin Rémond

The company "Les métiers du bois" made a structural survey and then a qualitative renovation.

Matthieu-Alexandre Durand
Apprentice in "Bac pro" Carpentry

My name is Matthieu-Alexandre Durand, I used to work in a library in the Parisian region.

I’ve always been passionate about heritage and historical monuments. I wanted a change in my life, do a training and work on our heritage.
I’ve been a carpenter apprentice for the past two years here in Lyon.

We work on windows, doors, using traditional carpentry and solid wood. One part is being restored and the other is new and manufactured but based on the original model.

The real pleasure is to work on traditional carpentry that sometimes is several centuries old. We dismantle old assemblies,and recreate those from the existing models.

It’s always a pleasure to touch History and our heritage.

Olivier Pasqual
Company manager of "Les métiers du bois"

From the start we decided to create a workshop in situ. To use our apprentices, monitored by experienced workers, directly on site.

Matthieu-Alexandre Durand

My future for now is to master the craft and the infinite variety of techniques of this craft. The rest, we will see later.