|- Organization/Company -|
|GEIQ Artois Littoral
which includes Keolis (GEIQ = a grouping of employers to promote participation and qualification)
|- City -|
|Nord-Pas de Calais region|
|- Country -|
The creation of such a GEIQ in the urban passenger transport sector has been stimulated by the existence of a national network of groupings of employers in France; there are currently 114 GEIQs in every sector in every region of France.
A GEIQ is a grouping of employers working to increase the participation and qualification of people who have little contact with employment. They recruit employees, manage their employment contracts, and make them available to member companies according to requirements.
The grouping's role is to organize the program for participation and vocational training through contracts that provide alternating periods of employment and training. These are offered to people having difficulty getting a job – young people with no qualifications, the long-term unemployed, people on RMI benefit, etc – with the objective of preparing them for long-term employment in companies in a competitive sector.
The GEIQs respond to the needs of:
This GEIQ joint venture for professional participation and qualification has been initiated in the public passenger transport sector at a local level (the Nord-Pas de Calais region). The GEIQ covers 25 transport companies in the Pas de Calais that are affiliated to the professional syndicate. It combines a social best practice and the obvious common recruitment needs of public transport companies in the area.
The objective of this innovation in the sector is two-fold; to give people the opportunity of gaining a qualification as a passenger transport driver and to integrate newcomers who have been kept away from the labour market for a long period because of their lack of qualifications.
This innovation was developed in response to a lack of qualifications amongst the driving workforce.
People recruited through the scheme are paid by State occupational training funds to attain qualification as a driver specializing in passenger transport. They are then paid by the joint venture for the second part of their sandwich training, to attain qualification as a commercial and transport employee. The joint venture then makes the newly trained employees available to its corporate members.
Passenger transport companies are increasingly experiencing difficulty in recruiting drivers. It has been noticed that there is, in this activity, a real deficiency in management of human resources and more particularly in the planned management of recruitment.
It is also important to note the fast evolution of the job, requiring more skill and higher qualification on the part of the workforce. The GEIQ has been designed as a solution to the double problem of recruitment difficulties and the career prospects of people with specific difficulties. It should be noted that specific funding may be allocated to groupings of employers that organize schemes for participation and qualification in favor of certain categories of beneficiaries of the "professionalization contract" program.
For people searching for a job in the driving activity, the GEIQ's expertise lies in the standardization of the skills of new drivers. Consequently, the similar skills would be found in Keolis' subsidiaries as well as in independent companies.
It also allows the GEIQ's member companies to join a civic initiative by the recruitment of disadvantaged people. The GEIQ is based on State funding for employment and training and therefore reflects national policies. Specific measures are oriented towards disadvantaged unemployed people (eg disabled people and long term unemployed people). Schemes for young people aged between 16 and 25 who left school with no qualifications, or who are finding it particularly difficult to get a job, and jobseekers over the age of 45 can also apply for State funding. The amount is fixed at €686 per person for a full year.
The GEIQ is working on the precise definition of needs in terms of staff and qualifications, using an analysis of the payroll. Labor market and staff needs are analyzed at a local level and all the relevant players are involved.
The GEIQ asks each company member to define the profile of the candidate needed (age, sex, social situation, experience). The GEIQ acts on this information to draw up a plan of recruitment by mobilizing people with local influence.
The GEIQ allows the creation of a link between economic and social needs and purposes.
For the company, it is like a ready-made human resources department.
The initiative was created in 2001 and since then more than 100 drivers have been trained. 80% of these have been recruited under full-time definitive employment contracts. On average the GEIQ has the equivalent of 28 full-time employees; the grouping's activity has developed favorably in 2005. Lastly, the qualifications of drivers trained under this project are standardized and common across the companies involved.
The main result for companies is that the drivers recruited are familiar with their new working environment and they have already become accustomed to the working conditions and what is required. They have acquired the minimum standards by following a common training program.
Some strong points are common to all GEIQs in all sectors; others are specific to GEIQs in the passenger transport sector. Firstly, the GEIQ constitutes a valuable recruitment tool for companies that also enables them to help provide lasting qualifications for local people in difficulty. Secondly, through the mediation work of the GEIQ's permanent staff, its employees have the benefit of social support that enables them to overcome their initial difficulties, such as ignorance of the corporate environment and its constraints, housing problems, excessive debt, difficulty in attending training at a center they associate with the school environment where they failed, etc. This work of mediation and monitoring the acquisition of competencies enables the employees to gain maximum benefit from not only the teaching provided in the training centers but also from the professional support by the mentors within the member companies.
Jobseekers with no qualifications or who have specific difficulty in getting a job aged between 25 and 45 are not eligible for "professionalization contracts". They would therefore be excluded from the scheme unless the approved joint collection body (organisme paritaire collecteur agréé – OPCA) for the branch (to which the companies are required to pay contributions for financing vocational training) makes an additional financial contribution to help people in this category.
The local union of passenger transport companies supports the GEIQ's action.
|Recruiting and integration policies within the company|
|Skill and career management procedures|
|Training program content, practices and processes associated with the evolutions observed in the occupation|
|Relations with national/regional policies|
|Relations with Collective Agreement|
This initiative could in fact be transferred easily.
The grouping of employers is an activity governed by a national agreement; the level of management of the grouping as well as the social management of the employees could therefore be transferred to other similar contexts.
As proof of this, the Artois Littoral GEIQ has now expanded its field of action to include the training and recruitment of maintenance technicians and is considering further expansion in 2006 to include logistics functions.
From a European point of view, it is necessary to take into account the social rules relative to the labor market.
If affirmative, is the Handbook available?
Methodological guides are available from the national committee for the coordination and evaluation of GEIQs.