Background to the programme
Aubervilliers is a city of newly arrived immigrants which is severely affected by unemployment (over 23% in 2013). The Employment Solidarity Association of Aubervilliers (ASEA) was created in 1996 by a collective of the unemployed, convinced of the importance of social support and workshops which address the needs of job seekers. This aspect is particularly important for immigrants who do not speak French or don't understand the workings of French institutions. The first workshops were started in 2003.
Objectives of the programme
To access employment by:
- Enabling the intended public to become aware of their difficulties and to set up a personalised program to overcome these difficulties
- Meeting the needs of beneficiaries of the association
- Making each person autonomous and active so that they take control of their life in a dynamic of socio-professional integration.
On average, 1 year and a half of training:
- Workshops on office equipment, vocabulary, on the highway code, in French to support with employment and sociolinguistic knowledge (= learning the French language in a practical context)
- Explain and guide the public in drafting administrative documents, in access to rights, in the location of free health centres, etc. Finding a job can't be done without mental and physical well being.
- Cultural excursions (museums, theatre). Launch of the "Living together Mission" with the Louvre Museum 10 years ago. During school holidays, these cultural outings are done with the recipient and their family
- College workshops organised at the local ASEA and in schools in the city: to explain the operation of the school and to work on their French with a view to enable parents to become involved in monitoring their child's education at school (attend meetings, meet the actors involved in the college, even participate in the class council).
Quantitative and qualitative results from the implemented actions
- Per year between 110 and 120 people for the sociolinguistic workshops, 30 youths for the French courses, 30 people for office equipment, 30 for the highway code, 25 parents to the college workshop and 10 purely for the job search workshops.
- Confidence in themselves and enhanced autonomy. Pride, validation, gratification, especially through obtaining diplomas which reward involvement in the workshops.
The support offered by ASEA evolves according to the needs of its beneficiaries. It continuously analyses the problems of the public targeted and its own actions. It also has the distinctive characteristic of acting on several fronts (health, education, citizenship, compute skills, etc.) as difficulties in accessing employment brings several problems together.
Partnership(s) developed in the context of the programme
- City of Aubervilliers: Social Work, Municipal Centre for Social Action (CCAS), municipal health centre, serving local democracy, theatre, media library
- Associations: Les souffleurs (The Prompters), Les grandes personnes (The Adults), Auberfabrik, CAS production, network of public writers, Network of actors from the ASL Dynamic (RaDyA)
- Craftsmen society, the Post Office and the RATP (Paris Transport Network)
- The Louvre, Musée Guimet, Musée du Quai Branly, Science and industry Society, the Château de Versailles, etc.
Difficulties and/or obstacles encountered during the programme’s implementation :
- Premises were too small, lack of space and funding in Aubervilliers
- Difficult to know where to apply for grants or which open calls for projects to respond to.
- Difficult to judge the exact number of beneficiaries who found a job through the ASEA as they do not communicate with the association after they've left and also because Aubervilliers is a city of newly arrived immigrants.
Solutions used to overcome the difficulties and/or obstacles :
- If someone isn't progressing, the team analyses the situation as a group to find the source of the problem
- If someone does not regularly attend workshops, an initial discussion between them and the team is organised to determine the reasons and to find a suitable solution (eg change of group). If it's impossible to find one, ask them to give up their place for another beneficiary.
Suggestions for future improvement :
- Find external donors, even set up projects differently (rewording the application according to the donor) and establish new partnerships.
- 2014, working with "Les Soufflers", artists (poets) interested in working with the public
Summary of factors responsible for the programme’s success :
- Constantly reassessing the methodology (internally), and taking account of outside opinion
- Training of ASEA employees at the"Living together Mission" which enables it to be free for beneficiaries and to have a say regarding cultural outings.
- Involvement and the passion of the team
- Good partnerships can bring in outsiders to visit the organisations, etc.
- Being in an area where there are lots of opportunities for partnerships and being surrounded by a dynamic team
- Listening to the beneficiaries and identify their needs even if they are not expressed directly
- Keeping a distance between employees and beneficiaries
- Having several workshops and several trainers and expanding the actions to include the family