For nearly 40 years, Espace19 has been one of the leading non-profits in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. Espace19 started out as a people’s education organisation involved in access to rights, enlivening the neighbourhood, and early childhood. The non-profit then developed assistance strategies focused on professional integration (“action emploi” or employment actions) which have been supported by the Societe Generale Foundation for several years now.

Banking on proximity and hyperlocal action to favour employment

Work-related French language workshops, programmes to access social rights, actions to combat isolation, support to achieve digital autonomy, implementation of childcare solutions for parents looking for work, etc. The non-profit offers a comprehensive pathway in order to remove all social obstacles to find lasting employment. In 2018, 1,000 people benefited from an “employment action”. Among them, 160 have found work, fifty have obtained a qualification and five companies have been created. 

“At Espace19, there is a lady who helps people find work and supports them right to the end. For example, I love children and one day I wanted to become a nanny or childcare worker. This lady, she explained the benefits to us and what we had to do. She encouraged me. She told me I was the best. I was so happy, I can’t put it into words, “ says one beneficiary.

Next challenge: better support young people

In the 19th arrondissement, a quarter of the population is under 20 years old and few have qualifications. Espace19 wants to strengthen its “employment actions” for the neighbourhood’s youth, especially in light of the vocational training reforms, where the inhabitants with the most difficulties risk being excluded from the new systems due to poor understanding or lack of autonomy, including digital autonomy. The non-profit and the Societe Generale Foundation are thinking about how to develop the engagement of the Group’s employees to address these new needs, in particular via skills sponsorship programmes.

To know more about this organization : ESPACE 19

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