Thirteen major French companies in favour of a more inclusive economy

In an Op-ed published in French newspaper "Le Monde "*, Sophie Boissard, Chief Executive Officer of the Korian group, joined forces with twelve CEOs of major French companies to discuss a list of initiatives that would complement the measures taken by the French government.

"Our commitment is in line with our mission to serve the elderly and frail, and with the strong values that men and women bring to the Group's 400 establishments in France every day. This key role for inclusion is played by each of our establishments in France as a full-fledged player in the local economic and social life through its activities in the service of seniors, its recruitment, its purchases made at 75% in France, its investments," stresses Sophie Boissard, Chief Executive Officer of the Korian group.


Sophie Boissard Jean Patrick Gille Korian UNML


Op-ed published in Le Monde on 18 December 2018

We share the conviction that it is urgent that our country's economy be more inclusive, that the economic and social aspects go hand in hand, that the social fabric be rebuilt from the economic fabric. In short, that the economy and the underlying finance be at the service of society.

It is to make this conviction a reality that, in addition to the measures taken by public authorities, we, as economic decision-makers, wish to commit ourselves collectively today to provide solutions and to strengthen a social contract that must unite us all. We are entering the consultation phase, which will be opened with a collective will and two strong commitments:

1. Our companies are active in sectors of the economy that directly address the concerns expressed by French people. From 2019, each of our companies will expand or set up, with its products and services, specific measures to help those who have difficulty making ends meet on a daily basis.

2. The inclusion of young people through apprenticeship, as well as the continuing training of employees, are the pillars of protection that French men and women need to face the fears expressed today about the future of work. Socially supported, the ecological transition must also be a driving force for the development of new skills and professions. We are therefore making a collective commitment to an unprecedented effort on these points: we will increase the number of apprentices we welcome in France by 50% to nearly 35,000 in 2020, and our collective continuous training effort in 2019 and 2020 will be increased by more than 5 million hours compared to the two previous years.


Dialogue with the government

We want the consultation that begins this week to make it possible to draw up the practical details of these provisions. We hope that this dialogue will be an opportunity for other companies to join us in this process, in order to strengthen our territorial network of employment, training and support measures for people in precarious situations. We want to engage in a concrete dialogue with the government, local authorities and stakeholders who so wish, on the accompanying measures likely to enhance the effectiveness of our commitments, and therefore their social impact.

Finally, we believe it is essential to build, around our commitments, concrete mechanisms that integrate the experience and know-how of all stakeholders and social partners in the field of training, but also to benefit from the support of those who, in France, have opened up the field of experimentation involving companies in the fight against poverty, because innovation in this field is essential.

We met in a few days because, beyond all the constraints imposed on the exercise of our responsibilities, we are aware that the French society that we will contribute to building together depends on the concrete choices we make, for all of us - citizens, employees, savers, female and male business leaders.


Commitments in terms of joint access to products and services in 2019 and 2020:

  •  Accelerated deployment with local authorities of a child nutrition programme (nutritional education and products sold at cost) for families in precarious situations;
  • Free distribution of more than 100 million meals and creation of a food aid fund;
  •  Accelerated deployment of the "water voucher" with local communities, based on the model of the "energy voucher";
  • Carrying out 10,000 free diagnoses of the electrical installation of families in extreme fuel poverty;
  • Free handling of energy renovation assistance files to facilitate access to beneficiaries' rights;
  • Launch of a solidarity offer of digital training, computer equipment and Internet access, offered by social workers;
  • Opening of two telemedicine centres in the regions to improve access to care;
  • Experimentation of a free insurance offer for single-parent families, including an education allowance of 200 euros per month in the event of death;
  • Loan offer at 0.75% over three years for the purchase of a hybrid or electric vehicle;
  • Banking offer from 1 euro and 2 euros per month for fragile and modest customers.


Training and learning commitments in 2019 and 2020:

  • Support throughout France for associations that support students from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Proposal for a permanent contract reserved for 25% of trainees away from employment, in partnership with the Union Nationale des Missions Locales (UNML);
  • Collaboration with the Ministry of National Education and Youth to better promote the graduation character of professional paths and achievements, and better adapt diplomas to the needs of the company;
  • 40% increase in the number of apprentices from rural areas and neighbourhoods in difficulty;
  • Creation of a qualified vocational training centre dedicated to service professions that create high levels of employment, to accelerate social mobility;
  • Doubling the number of apprentices with a high school diploma or shorter;
  • Recruitment of 50% of apprentices in disadvantaged neighbourhoods;
  • Doubling the number of apprentices received by the company;
  • Doubling of recruitment from Pôle Emploi;
  • Doubling the number of hours of continuous training for the company's employees.


List of signatories in alphabetical order of the company: Sébastien Bazin, ACCOR - Thomas Buberl, AXA - Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, BNP Paribas - Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour - Nicolas Théry, Crédit mutuel Alliance fédérale - Dominique Lefebvre, Crédit Agricole - Emmanuel Faber, Danone - Isabelle Kocher, ENGIE - Sophie Boissard, groupe Korian - Stéphane Richard, Orange - Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric - Denis Machuel - Sodexo - Antoine Frérot, Veolia