Professional integration: A chance for all!
Some 836 million people around the world live in extreme poverty while 103 million young people – 60% of them girls – lack basic reading and writing skills. In developing regions, nearly one out of five people survives on less than $1.25 a day.
The Solidarity AccorHotels Endowment Fund was created in 2008 to address these issues and help fight economic and social exclusion of disadvantaged people by creating employment opportunities.
Here are a few examples of the commitments the Group and Solidarity AccorHotels stakeholders have taken to support employment efforts among disadvantaged populations.
Professional integration for women
“I spoke to Hafidha on the phone a few days ago. She wanted to tell me personally that she had been named ‘Employee of the Quarter’ and she sounded very excited,” says Rebecca Gaillard, Project Coordinator for La Table de Cana Marseille, a catering company that works to support professional integration. Hafidha lives in northern Marseille and quit school very young without a chance to continue her studies, devoting her time to her family and children. In 2015, she decided to apply for the Des Etoiles & des Femmes training programme started by the association. This programme trains women from Marseille’s northern disadvantaged neighbourhoods to give them a qualification in cooking alongside some of the city’s leading chefs. Along with 11 other women, Hafidha was selected from among 90 applicants to join the nine-month programme under Chef Dominique Frérad at the Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port. Going back to school while keeping up with the face-paced world of gourmet cuisine was not without its challenges for this mum! However, after completing the programme with flying colours, Hafidha was hired straight away by the Sofitel employee restaurant, L’Albatros (90 covers), where she now handles meals for the hotel staff.
In just a few decades, enormous strides have been made to give women greater access to education and employment. There are now more girls than boys enrolled in secondary and higher education establishments and they are outperforming their male counterparts. Women now make up 60.9% of the workforce and their participation in the labour market is simply a part of life. However, inequality persists in terms of pay gaps, career options and women’s exposure to unemployment and poverty.
Professional integration for young people
In mainland France, the unemployment rate for young people under 25 was 22.9% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 9.7% for the rest of the labour force.
In France, 21% of the population has few to no online interactions: 16% never go online while 5% do so only rarely. This adds up to a total of five million French who are socially and digitally isolated. In light of this situation, the social start-up WeTechCare was founded in 2015 to make digital technologies more accessible to vulnerable populations. In 2016, the association joined forces with local groups to launch a brand new platform for young jobseekers, Clic’N’Job. This free, easy-to-use platform aims to help them during their job searches with appropriate support for their skill profiles and training levels.
These projects, supported by Solidarity AccorHotels, are perfectly aligned with the fund’s objectives: fight social and professional exclusion of communities near AccorHotels establishments in every country where the Group does business.
Depending on local needs, support may include financial aid, an internship or professional experience in one of the Group’s establishments, or mentoring and networking activities with a view to developing a project.
Since 2008, Solidarity AccorHotels focused its efforts on a number of social projects. “In nine years, 20,000 AccorHotels employees have worked hand in hand with 200 associations and NGOs around the globe. Their hard work and feedback help us to constantly improve what we do at Solidarity AccorHotels,” says Christine de Longevialle, Managing Director of the Endowment Fund.
Credits: © Abaca Corporate Dario Garofalo