Disability, employment: at the heart of learning

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On July 2, in Saint Geours de Maremne, in the Landes, a unique initiative was launched on The neo-Aquitaine soil. Indeed, a tripartite convention, bringing together the National Union of Adapted Enterprises (UNEA), ENEDIS and the New Aquitaine Region, has been signed in favour of the creation of an inclusive learning section, whose beneficiaries will be young people and adults with disabilities. The aim of this section is to enable access to employment for these people, through specific training.


Disability in the labour market


In France, 12 million people are affected by disability, and 500,000 of them are unemployed, or 19% of the population according to the UNEA press release of 3 July 2018. In addition, people affected by disability are looking for work for a longer period of time than able-bodied people, with 801 days of unemployment, compared to 597 for the general population. A difference of 25% which is difficult to pass for the vast majority of French people.

Thus, the conduct of such a project in New Aquitaine provides a possible solution to encourage companies to recruit, and apprentices to integrate more easily into the labour market at the end of their apprenticeship period. Called SAIJAH (Section Inclusive Learning Young and Disabled Adults), this section will open its first promotion in September 2018, offering future apprentices to train around several sectors of activity: electronics, electrical or electrical engineering. Theoretical training allows apprentices to be trained in CFA partners throughout the region in an inclusive way. Subsequently, the practical part of learning is done in traditional, or adapted, companies. In this way, registered persons can be received at the various regional ENEDIS sites or in companies adapted to learn the practicality of the trade.


The Greater Region at the heart of integration


If the New Aquitaine region was chosen for the opening of the first SAIJAH, it was not without reason. Indeed, the region was selected by UNEA because the Regional Council of the region greatly supports the integration of people with disabilities into the working life, and has to date one of the most supplied CFA networks in the country. The partnership with ENEDIS is also in line with this same logic, with the group’s desire to recruit people from Bac Pro of Electricity Trades and its Connected Environments (MELEC), a training that will be provided within the learning section. In addition, the group has been pursuing a fairly dynamic disability policy in recent years, which is in line with what UNEA wants to encourage.

There are multiple pathologies of disability. From the less disabling to the heaviest, it is not possible to train and integrate a person in the same way. Thus, one of the essential points that SAIJAH wishes to apply is to accompany apprentices in their training, but also when they arrive in the company taking into account their needs so that this integration is as successful as possible. It is also essential for people with reduced mobility that establishments receiving the public be accessible since the law of 11 February 2005, otherwise the integration into the company is simply compromised. Finally, for people in retraining who decide to start a new apprenticeship training, the SAIJAH aims to support them in this change.

UNEA aims to promote the sustainable integration of people with disabilities into the labour market in several sectors. If New Aquitaine, presented as a springboard for the SAIJAH project, reduces the number of people with disabilities looking for work, then this model may well have all the legitimacy to duplicate itself in other parts of France.


Audrey Kozaczka – Bordeaux Business


UNEA press release – 3 July 2018

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