French infrastructure giant Vinci will work with the government to give 5,000 disadvantaged secondary-school pupils a week’s intensive work experience every year.
A first in France, and billed as a move to "combat inequality", the scheme will give pupils site visits, introductions to various professions, testimonials from Vinci employees, and job search workshops.
Vinci says it intends to "reinvent the compulsory work experience placement".Â
The scheme will teach students about Vinci’s’s five business lines and the various professions they could go into.
Called "Give me 5", it was set up with local education authorities in 10 regions: Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Bordeaux, Créteil, Lille, Lyon, Nancy-Metz, Strasbourg, Toulouse, and Versailles.
"Vinci intends to open the doors of the corporate world to young people from underprivileged neighbourhoods," said company chairman and chief executive Xavier Huillard.
Vinci also pledged to reserve 20% of its gap year and graduate internships for students from deprived neighbourhoods, and help 10 disadvantaged people a year find work in each of 10 selected French regions.
Image: Vinci’s illustration of its new work experience scheme