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Career opportunities15th of June 2010
French correspondent Christian Bouzols reports on how schoolchildren are being made aware of career prospects in the cleaning sector, in a new initiative.
What can be done to make the cleaning trades and their study courses better known to young people? This is the challenge that the presentation 'Destination propreté' has been designed to meet in accordance with goals set by the French Ministry of Education. Produced jointly by the French Cleaning Federation (Fédération des Entreprises de Propreté) and specialists from the Ministry of Education, this two-hour presentation is to be shown during more than 1,500 sessions to children at the third and fourth grades (age 14 and 15) in lycées throughout the country.
The purpose of the exercise is to improve the image of the different cleaning trades by means of an eight-section module with the support of various media. The main headings of the presentation are: help to discover the cleaning trades and their ancillary services; inspire curiosity and interest towards little known trades; make the children aware of the educational and training opportunities on offer; and make the young audience understand the operation of a cleaning firm.
Special tools have been developed in support of those sessions. These include a presentation CD, board games, and card games introducing the various trades and techniques. The schoolchildren will also be given training packs containing a résumé of the session, career opportunities in cleaning, and training games.
Within this partnership with the French education authorities, a competition has also been organised whereby at the end of each session, participants are asked to formulate a slogan related to cleaning. More than 2,000 entries had been received by a national jury that met on May 7 to decide on the winner. The winning slogan, from a school in Verdun, was 'Métiers de la propreté: balayons les préjugés!' (Cleaning trades: let’s sweep away all prejudice.) Who would have thought of that!
This general approach towards making the cleaning profession known to young people via schools has also led a training establishment to create an exhibition entitled 'Vers un monde plus beau' (Towards a more beautiful world). The idea here is to illustrate the societal role of the cleaning sector.
This quite original tool is designed as a sensory journey, an initiatory walk into the cleaning world. For two hours, the visitor is given the opportunity to reflect on what cleaning is all about, the emphasis being placed on values and meaning.
Having been tested at various cleaning establishments, the exhibition is now set to travel across the country. A number of schools and other training establishments have already asked for it. The exhibition is organised in nine stages where the visitor will see films, illustrations, optical effects, photos and cartoons, thus appreciating the historical and cultural dimensions of hygiene and cleaning, and also discovering the various career and training opportunities offered by the industry. At the end of that exploratory tour, visitors will receive a notebook and a chart explaining the courses of study and the careers open to them.
This is an original means of presenting a sector that is one of France’s main employers.