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Stable Employment for the Young Residents of Les Mureaux

Setting up a vocational school for in-demand technical careers in Les Mureaux, France

The Vivre Les Mureaux regional center for economic cooperation (Pôle Territorial de Coopération Economique - PTCE) set itself the goal of revitalizing a region ravaged by poverty and unemployment to help expand projects that can remedy unemployment. Many actions have been implemented since 2017, helping to change the image of this region and bring young people and companies together. The project of setting up a vocational school for in-demand professions is a perfect fit for this mission; the plan is to help young people with no qualifications find employment in three years. The PTCE is finding motivated young people and offering its knowledge of the local environment, while companies are identifying in-demand professions and offering to host and mentor these trainees so that they can find stable employment. The careers in question include welding, logistics and digital services. This is a pilot project that can be replicated in other regions facing similar challenges.

The Cause: High Unemployment for Young People in Les Mureaux

The town of Les Mureaux is facing a high unemployment rate in its younger population. In early 2020, around 700 young people living in Les Mureaux had applied to the local employment office, reporting major problems finding employment due to the poor reputation of Les Mureaux, their lack of workplace knowledge, not having finished school, etc. 

Despite this, many advertised positions in technical fields go unfilled for months on end. For instance, 285 job postings for positions in the field of hazardous materials deliveries went unfilled in the Seine-Aval catchment area before the crisis. Why is that? A serious skills shortage coupled with the fact that young people are unaware of these fields. There is an urgent need to revitalize the Les Mureaux area, change its image and build bridges between companies and young residents.

34% of young residents of Les Mureaux between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed compared to 22% nationwide

© Getty Image 

Help Young People with no qualifications join the Workforce

Providing ongoing support so that motivated young people can find stable employment is the goal of the Vivre les Mureaux PTCE and the Air Liquide Foundation. To make this a reality, we will create a vocational school that teaches soft skills and provides technical certifications. Over the next three years, the school plans to help young people without specialized training gain the skills needed for in-demand technical fields such as welding, digital services and driving commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials. We would like to eventually roll this program out nationwide. Nearly 15 other regions identified by the Ministry of Regional Cohesion could benefit from the Les Mureaux experiment.

Vivre les Mureaux

Vivre les Mureaux: November 2021 training to welding

A training to become a welder

The vocational school for in-demand technical careers welcomes its first classes of ten young people aged 17 to 24 in 2021!

The training is provided by qualified instructors at Ecquevilly & Les Mureaux. When their training is complete, the students will have earned professional welding certificates.

Each training program includes two stages:

  • The prequalification phase (300h) to learn the soft skills (corporate cultureworkplace etiquette, safety, practices and attitudes), technical basics… along with an internship at a company
  • A certificate-granting training phase provided by a professional organization

During the training phase, the students take classes in theory, learn trade skills and complete an internship at a company. When the training is complete, they go through a mentoring program that helps the graduates in their job search (writing resumes, mock interviews, help finding jobs, and transitioning into a company).

Local teams from Air Liquide entities are working with the project to help analyze the needs of the local ecosystems and to provide mentoring to the beneficiaries:

  • Coaching and mentoring young people
  • Hiring interns
  • Offering site visits
  • Providing expertise in the fields of welding, logistics and digital services

Vivre Les Mureaux PTCE’s three years of work in remobilization and their strong relationships forged by their community efforts enabled the association to identify young people who have no workplace experience and no idea these technical fields existed and help put them on the path to employment.

What the Air Liquide Foundation is doing

The Foundation is covering the engineering costs for the project as well as the efforts to find candidates for the program. It is helping to analyze the local ecosystem and create a coalition of partners. The foundation is also connecting with local Air Liquide teams so they can share their technical expertise and mentor the young candidates.


"The Air Liquide Foundation made an excellent decision in choosing to support this project. Eurocryospace, the Air Liquide subsidiary that I manage in Les Mureaux, regularly has trouble hiring for positions in understaffed professions, and I know we are not alone. The initiative can help fill posts that are currently vacant while also helping young people who do not know where to find opportunities and need support and training to rejoin the workforce."

Christine Jauffret, Previous Project monitor, Director of the EuroCryospace & Spatial Division in Les Mureaux, Air Liquide Advanced Technologies