Bringing youths without degrees back to the world of work

In the Hauts-de-Seine and in many other districts of France, youths drop out of the school system in large numbers without any qualification, nor any ability to find a job. To help them reintegrate socially and professionally, ARPEIJE is setting up a comprehensive assistance system.

Social and Employment

Clamart, France

Alain Dormier

20 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2008/05/27

Project leader


« I support this project because it is deeply humanistic and it corresponds to the values upon which our country was founded. It considers in fact that the only means of integrating youths in difficulty is to train them to rediscover the codes necessary for community life. Besides, it is open to everyone. I feel that this is fundamentally important at the time when the rise of Islamic fundamentalism is a growing concern in our suburbs: Arpeije "recovers" those who have been excluded from the educational system too soon. »

Alain Dormier

Lack of qualifications, housing problems, health worries, far from their families...: many youths who have dropped out the educational system too early, without a degree or professional experience, soon sink into a marginal existence. This seriously jeorpardises their susbsequent ability to spring back and return to the path of social and professional integration. Very often, they simply never register in systems provided for them in the areas of training or access to employment. To find effective answers to this situation, ARPEIJE*, an association created in 1981 to implement integration projects aimed at youths excluded from the world of work, is creating a Dynamic Integration Space (EDI).

Paid trainee status

Aimed at youths aged from 16 to 25, the EDI programme is based on the principle of comprehensive assistance to youths in difficulty. Through numerous approaches, its goal is to eradicate all the difficulties that hinder this social and professional integration. EDI relies on individualised accompaniment and participation in group workshops, which serve both to face the realities of the working world and to acquire useful knowledge and skills.

In concrete terms, professionals receive, listen to and track the youths in difficulty. At the same time, they are invited to participate in educational activities in the audiovisual, information technology, new technologies, expression and communication areas, etc. EDI also plans sessions to learn the highway code.

According to his needs, each youth can be accommodated in the EDI programme for between five months and one year. He enjoys trainee status and can even receive pay if he participates in the activities for at least 20 hours per week.

The aid granted by the Veolia Foundation contributes to finance the equipment of part of the premises of ARPEIJE, particularly in terms of information technology. The association can thus accommodate and monitor 80 youths per year.

* ARPEIJE : Association Relais pour l'Éducation et l'Insertion des Jeunes