Crédit Agricole opens its doors to students from secondary schools in high-priority education areas
In 2019 in France, the Group hosted 750 interns from secondary schools located in high-priority education areas. The aim is to help young people on their journey towards the working world through education, training and help finding jobs. This ambition resonates with Crédit Agricole’s values and commitments in relation to diversity, inclusion and local social ties.
Plans are still in place to host a fresh batch of interns over the 2020-2021 academic year.
Crédit Agricole S.A. group and LCL entities mobilised
In 2019, 300 fourth-year secondary school students from schools located in high-priority education areas completed job-shadowing internships at Crédit Agricole S.A. group entities and LCL branches.
Seven full weeks of internships were organised, each consisting of five workshops tailored to students to prepare them for the business world. The programme included a workshop on discrimination in the business world, an escape game on banking, tests on new means of payment (rings, chips, etc.), help setting up a LinkedIn profile, role-play interviews with recruiters, programming a robot, a tour of the computer room, etc. Entities worked with non-profit organisations ViensVoirMonTaf and Un Stage Et Après to put together the various programmes with the aim of providing students with a fun and instructive insight into the variety of jobs available within the Crédit Agricole S.A. group.
These tailored programmes, which included both group activities and one-to-one time with tutors, were a big hit with students, who particularly appreciated employees’ welcome and commitment: “What I liked best was how our tutors bent over backwards to share as much information with us as possible all throughout the week ”, said Jennifer from the Joliot-Curie secondary school in Bagneux. This enthusiasm was also shared by tutors, who are keen to host another batch of interns in 2020: “The way interns’ daily timetable is divided up is ideal for helping tutors manage their own schedules and maximising overall understanding of a bank’s role and the kinds of jobs available within it”, said Marie from Crédit Agricole S.A.
In 2020, in response to the challenges thrown up by the public health crisis, the Group has continued to work with non-profits ViensVoirMonTaf and Un Stage Et Après to put in place remote support for students previously hosted in 2019 in the form of personalised mentoring focusing on homework and career orientation.
Meanwhile, plans are still in place to host a fresh batch of interns in the second half of 2020. Internship arrangements are currently being drawn up in conjunction with non-profit organisations, national coordinating bodies and the Ministry of Education to ensure that students and tutors alike can enjoy the best possible experience while complying with COVID-19-related public health measures.
Regional Banks get stuck in
“I’ve really enjoyed my internship; if I’m offered the chance to stay on, I’ll take it!” These are the words of Rose, a fourth-year secondary school intern who spent five days at the Champagne-Bourgogne Regional Bank in late 2019.Her enthusiasm was shared by large numbers of students hosted at Regional Banks last year as part of the first intake of a programme launched by the public authorities aimed at secondary schools located in high-priority education areas and rural areas.
In response to this stimulating and appealing challenge, Regional Banks took it upon themselves to put together original, tailored internship programmes, offering a blend of non-traditional content including escape games, digital technology quizzes, CV-writing workshops and budget management games. Some partnered with non-profit organisation Tous en Stage, enabling them to co-host interns along with three other companies in different sectors to broaden the range of experience on offer. As this school year unlike any other draws to a close, 476 young people have been supported by Regional Bank staff motivated by the challenge, proud to embody the Group’s values and happy to be able to talk about the wide variety of career paths available within the Bank.
As the start of the second campaign (2020/2021) approaches, the Regional Banks have set themselves a target of hosting at least as many interns as last year.
This initiative is an opportunity for the Group to affirm its responsibility as an employer right across the country by building relationships, adding value to local areas and mobilising staff around shared goals.
“Des territoires aux grandes écoles”: promoting equal opportunities and local development
Fédération nationale du Crédit Agricole recently partnered with “Des territoires aux grandes écoles” to help young people from rural areas while strengthening local links.
This non-profit organisation, created in the Basque Country in 2013, was the brainchild of Bixente Etcheçaharreta, who lamented the fact that “too few students [from rural areas] go on to higher education, either for lack of information, or because they think their rural origins or low-income background disqualify them, or because they lack the financial resources”. “Du Pays Basque aux grandes écoles” now works with students and graduates, promoting equal opportunities and strengthening local ties. The Crédit Agricole Pyrénées Gascogne Foundation supports the organisation and its Bearnese offshoot.
The initiative took off and a national coordinating body was set up in 2017: “Des territoires aux grandes écoles”. It encompasses 21 local organisations with 508 members (students, executives and business owners, young graduates and teachers) and 50 accredited high schools. Together, these local organisations have awarded scholarships totalling €114,000.
Long committed to inclusion for young people and with an ambitious goal of developing equal opportunities for all, the Regional Banks are making a difference in the heart of their local communities, in conjunction with schools and non-profits working to combat social exclusion. Through this new approach, they are stepping up their commitment, firstly by helping the organisation develop nationwide and secondly by promoting local links resulting in concrete action such as summer schools, internships, workplace tours and scholarships. This is a great illustration of the Regional Banks’ corporate purpose and cooperative values.