Helping young people to succeed in their professional integration

11/10/2022

Feature Story

Finding a place in the professional world: the difficult path of youth

Portrait of Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies
Together helping young people make informed decisions is a duty as much as an economic and social necessity, so that each young person may find their path.
Patrick Pouyanné Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

The different economic and social crises experienced in recent years have weakened a large part of society both professionally and personally. Among the most vulnerable people, young people around the world have been one of the most severely affected.

Being present in over 130 countries, TotalEnergies has witnessed the escalation in inequality and social and environmental challenges, which affect young people in particular. Youth unemployment and insecurity have worrying, even dramatic, consequences worldwide in economic and human terms. In France, more than 16%1 of young people are unemployed and 100,000 out of every 700,000 students leave school every year with no qualifications.

1 INSEE – First quarter 2022

Commitment to youth

TotalEnergies is convinced that a company must be a proactive player in the territories where it is present, in addition to making socio-economic and societal contributions. This is why we have added citizenship initiatives to our array of activities, and we have chosen to focus them essentially on young people, particularly the most vulnerable. These initiatives are borne by TotalEnergies Foundation and contribute to the community engagement of our Company, whose employees can devote up to three days of their working time per year to citizenship initiatives. On an international level, the TotalEnergies Foundation program promotes the same values.

TotalEnergies' commitment to helping young people is driven by the firm belief that sustainable development cannot be achieved without effective solutions to promote their professional and social inclusion. They are instrumental in both the future of the territories and their vitality.

TotalEnergies believes that it has a responsibility to act and contribute to having a positive social impact in all of its host regions across the world. Beyond our economic, social, and societal contribution, we are determined to provide young people who have been left behind by the system, with opportunities to reach their full potential by developing their know-how and soft skills. In this way, we are committed to helping socially vulnerable young people to become independent so that they can take their future into their own hands and gain easier access to future career possibilities.

Acting for professional integration: helping the transition from school to work

TotalEnergies is committed to contributing to the professional integration of young people and thus strengthening their employability. Considering it essential to address this issue as early as possible in the educational process to maximize its impact, targeted actions are put in place and adapted to the specificity of the country contexts where they are deployed.

Our three areas of action are:

  • support and guidance for young people,
  • training through innovative teaching methods,
  • integration to facilitate access to the world of work.

In this sense, several partnerships have been created by the Company to offer young people, whether students or not, a way to facilitate their integration and development in the professional sphere. In addition to these partnerships, other actions are carried out for younger people (especially secondary school students) to help them become familiar with the business world.

To this end, since 2018 in France, the Company has dedicated 50% of its last-year middle-school internships to young people from priority neighborhoods. Over the 2020-2021 school year, TotalEnergies has expanded its system allowing more than 700 young people to discover the business world, including 589 middle school students from priority neighborhoods.

TotalEnergies is also committed to supporting work-study students in their professional integration. Through the “5,000 work-study trainees” plan launched in 2016, TotalEnergies has committed to increasing its contribution to the employment of work-study students and has consequently recruited more than 8,000 young people. The commitment, which is renewed each year, to recruiting work-study students representing 5% of the French workforce is now part of the Company's human resources policy. In 2021, the Company made 1,909 new hires during the year, compared with its initial target of 1,608.

Fully aware of the difficult situation of young people during this complex period, the Company has strengthened its recruitment system to ensure greater equality of opportunity. The partnership with the Fondation Mozaïk (a major player in the economic inclusion of talent from diverse backgrounds) makes all of TotalEnergies' job offers accessible to young people in the regions on its DiversifiezVosTalents platform. In addition, the Company has actively contributed to the initiative set up by the French government, by posting more than 1,100 offers on the 1Jeune1Solution platform in 2021.

The Company promotes an inclusive corporate culture that allows everyone to develop their potential. It excludes all forms of discrimination related to origin, gender, sexual orientation or identity, disability, age, or affiliation with a political, labor, or religious organization, or membership in a minority group.

Every year since 2017, the Company has participated in and obtained the HappyTrainees label, which measures the recommendation rate given by its interns and work-study students. Six themes are addressed: career progression, stimulating environment, management, motivation, pride and fun. In 2021, for the first time, the Company was in the Top 5 in its category. TotalEnergies achieved an overall rating of 4.15 out of 5 and a 91.2% recommendation rate. For this label, 1,711 young people were invited to respond.

Volontariat International en Entreprise” (VIE) is a system that promotes the export of the know-how of French companies abroad. This program completes the curriculum for young French people and nationals of the European Economic Area, aged 18 to 28, by allowing them to acquire international experience for a maximum of 24 months. The system, in force in the Company since 2002, has enabled more than 2,100 young graduates to benefit from this program.

The Company’s international scholarship programs help promote French higher education worldwide. In all, 1,500 scholars have received grants since 2004, and in 2021 TotalEnergies provided financial support to 192 students from 29 countries. In addition, TotalEnergies is sponsoring a Master's degree in Energy at the three engineering schools of Paris Sciences et Lettres University (École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris and École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris). The aim of this program is to provide a pool of young people expert command of the energy sector and the challenges of decarbonization.

Thinking about work integration in an inclusive and fair way: our commitment to women

TotalEnergies aims to recruit women in proportions that reflect, at a minimum, the percentage of women graduates at schools and universities in its business sectors. The Company strives to promote at least the same proportion of men and women within the overall group of people eligible for the promotion under consideration. The mobility process implemented as part of the Better Together initiative ensures greater transparency and offers new prospects for career growth for both men and women in the Company’s various professions.

To encourage young women to opt for careers in technical fields, TotalEnergies has partnered with France’s Elles Bougent (Women on the Move) organization since 2011. Some 220 female engineers regularly meet with high-school girls to talk about careers in science. Throughout the Company, female engineers and technicians from all backgrounds are encouraged to serve as role models for female high school and university students to illustrate women’s contributions to the fields of science and technology.

Promoting diversity also involves changing mentalities: awarenessraising, training and communication actions, such as the Diversity and Inclusion Week are regularly carried out for managers and employees. Internal training courses for women such as Young Female Talents and How to Market Yourself or How extraordinary women communicate are offered.

Supporting young people through innovative initiatives: the example of the Young Graduate program

Founded by TotalEnergy in 2014, the Young Graduate Program is an innovative initiative targeting newly graduates from more than 30 countries in Africa. The program is an opportunity for them to enter the job market by enabling them to improve their employability.

This program offers them the opportunity to enter the job market and increase their employability through experience in TotalEnergy's businesses such as finance (accounting, management control, etc.) and sales (digital marketing, merchandising, SFS, etc.) or engineering (maintenance, construction, works, logistics, HSE, etc.)

The TotalEnergy Young Graduate program is a structured pathway* that newly graduates follow over a period of 18 months. It includes two key phases:

  • 6 months with a local contract in the country of origin’s affiliate: the young people will be able to perform through jobs in finance, business or operations.
  • 12 months of expatriation in another entity of TotalEnergy in Africa or at the Headquarters in Paris to enhance the experience acquired during the first phase. This international step enables them to discover new horizons and to develop human and inter-cultural skills.

Since 2014, more than 490 young people have taken this opportunity to improve their employability. The health crisis has slowed down the program, but the milestone of 500 young people joining the program was reached at the start of 2022.

How is the partnership between TotalEnergies and the Young Graduate program developing in concrete terms?

In the Africa Marketing & Services Department, the Young Graduate program has been in existence since 2014 and offers about 80 young African graduates aged up to 26 an 18-month professional placement each year. The program is divided into two phases: a 6-month work experience at the subsidiary in the participant’s home country, followed by a 12-month assignment abroad. Since 2014, more than 490 young people have taken this opportunity to improve their employability.

The results of the Young Graduate program 

In France, the creation of Industreet reinforces the Company's commitment to the training and employment of young people

Since 2020, TotalEnergies' commitment to youth training and employment is symbolized by the creation of the Industreet, tuition-free school for young people ages 18 to 25 who have no previous skills qualification. Industreet, which is located in Stains in the Paris region, and which celebrated its first anniversary at the end of 2021, has already welcomed nearly 200 young people in training.

This initiative, led by TotalEnergy Foundation, is designed to provide an innovative, practical response to the challenge of unemployment among young people at a time when more than 200,000 industrial jobs are unfilled in France. Industry is undergoing profound changes with automation and digitalization, and it offers a wealth of opportunities for young people looking for a career path. Free of charge, the Industreet campus will eventually train up to 400 young people per year in the professions of the industry of the future.

L’Industreet will give young people the opportunity to acquire nationally recognized professional skills certification after 12 to 18 months of training. The program focuses on five areas with high demand for applicants: automated production lines, non-destructive testing and inspection, power distribution terminals, digitalization of industrial facilities and attended robot multi-service maintenance. Its innovative teaching approach will mix classroom and technical courses with immersive work experience. Because the curriculum is individualized, students will be able to enroll throughout the year. At the end of the program, each young graduate should be in a position to find a job in industry, continue their studies or start their own business.

No specific background or diploma is required to attend L’Industreet. The school will give priority to young people who are still searching for a career path. In addition, TotalEnergy puts an emphasis on training an equal number of men and women to overcome the stubborn stereotypes associated with jobs in industry. Young people from all parts of France will be able to apply starting in March 2020 at www.lindustreet.fr. The Stains campus, conveniently located close to public transportation, will be fully equipped for hands-on learning. Among other things, the facility will include workshops with assembly lines, high-powered computers for modeling industrial units, food services and a student residence. Everything is being taken into account to ensure that L’Industreet opens the door to opportunity for young people interested in a career in industry.

The TotalEnergies Foundation

To find out more about our initiatives in all our areas of activity, visit the TotalEnergies Foundation website, which lists all the company's youth projects.