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28/04/2021 News

Helping Refugees Enter the Workforce Alongside Our Partners in France

For the last six years, Total’s French corporate foundation has been working with nonprofit organizations to help refugees enter the workforce through the Total Foundation program. In 2020, 350 people with refugee status (or subsidiary protection) were supported in nine of Total’s host regions in France1. This commitment reflects the Group’s international dimension and its strong belief in diversity and inclusion.

Refugees often find it hard to find employment due to the language barrier, cultural differences, difficulties having their skill recognized, a lack of connections and many other factors. Total’s French corporate foundation offers financial support to nonprofits in France that help them overcome these barriers and enter the workforce.

Kodiko, for example, pairs refugees with workers as part of a mentoring program, enabling beneficiaries to learn about workplace practices, start building a professional network and demonstrate the value of their experience. In partnership with Le Monde en Têtes, Kodiko also holds writing workshops led by professional writers at the Institut du Monde Arabe cultural center, where refugees can develop their written and spoken language skills in new ways by creating narratives on different themes. Each year, Total’s French corporate foundation supports one of the nonprofit’s development projects.

Action Emploi Réfugiés works to improve access to employment and vocational training by putting refugees in contact with businesses and training providers. Total’s French corporate foundation supports its SOCLE program in Paris and Bordeaux and its expansion to a third region in 2022. The program provides refugees with the tools they need to look for work independently, through individual meetings and group workshops. The foundation also contributes to upgrading the nonprofit’s digital tools.

Each One, through its Tremplin program, helps refugees acclimatize to university life. With individual guidance from student volunteers and business mentors, refugees complete group French- and English-language courses and several other workshops. This enables them to meet new people, familiarize themselves with a new lifestyle and develop their career plans. The program, in which Total’s French corporate foundation is taking part, will ultimately be rolled out in eight regions2.

Unis-Cité organizes and promotes voluntary community service for young people. Its civic service program Coop’R was created specifically for refugees, enabling them to discover the nonprofit sector and improve their French-language skills as well as their vocational and soft skills. Total’s French corporate foundation contributes to this initiative, which is currently set up in 11 Unis-Cité branches across France3.

In the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region, AJIR supports young adult migrants leaving the child welfare system with its Aux Portes de l’Autonomie program, which promotes inclusion through apprenticeships. Total’s French corporate foundation subsidizes the cost of this new program for 15 young people each year.

Lastly, as part of the Action! volunteering program, 148 Total employees have been involved in refugee outreach initiatives since 2019.

1 Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France, Grand Est, Centre-Val de Loire, Pays de la Loire, Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
2 Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Brittany, Grand Est, Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France, Normandy, Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
3 Besançon, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lyon, Marseille, Metz, Nantes, Rennes, Seine-et-Marne, Toulouse.