Dialogue to develop solutions

This article was designed and written by Gordon Iulia, expert in rural decentralization at Gal Napoca de Cluj [Romania]

The MFR Vigneulles in the Meuse, Grand-Est region, began its activity in 1965, being created by three farmers in the region who needed a well-trained workforce in the field. There are currently 24 people on the board, including coaches and parents. The total number of students is 232. This school prepares young people to become farmers, but not only, there are also people who learn to repair agricultural machinery.

As school infrastructure needs to be improved to meet the needs of local stakeholders, the school responded to the call for projects launched by the French State in 2014, thus obtaining funding of 4 euros, from the funds received state, regional council, city council and its own contribution. With this money, they managed to renovate or build new buildings, which now serve as: dormitories for students, canteen, classrooms, etc. For this project to be funded, certain conditions had to be met, such as: co-financing, political support, support from professionals in the region, project innovation, project coherence.

In addition, within this MFR, different companies have the opportunity to organize training sessions for MFR employees, their own employees and for students who wish to participate. The experience was even more authentic because we had the opportunity to see and exchange with the students exactly how the theoretical and practical training takes place in this MFR. We had the opportunity to visit the students during the theoretical training courses, but also during the practical courses, organized in the school's mechanical workshop. These students were able to confirm to us, from their point of view, that training in an MFR school offers them the possibility of finding a job in the region after obtaining their diploma.

In the second part of the day we had the opportunity to discuss with a representative of the association CareMeuse. It is an association which seeks to facilitate the meeting between companies, local actors and people studying in a certain field of interest for the region. The aim of this association is to discuss with companies and to know their needs related to the skills of future employees, by transmitting these needs to vocational schools, but not only by being also facilitators of vocational training. Unfortunately, the labor market supply in the region is low, as often people who leave the region to follow training in other regions do not return, as they consider that they do not have any job opportunities. employment in this region, which leads to decline in the Meuse region. As a result, the association is struggling to find solutions to encourage young people to find jobs in the region, so that they can have a future at home and that there is no need to look for jobs in the region. other regions. To facilitate this, the people of the association are in constant dialogue with companies, trying to know their needs, but also to teach young people to have the spirit of entrepreneurship and leadership. To succeed in doing all this, CaréMeuse tries to give a voice to professionals, to help them attract employees, works with 8 professional poles, which bring together 70 professionals and 350 students aged 13-14. They have 3 working strategies concerning the inclusion of all people in the territory: digitization, environmental protection and inclusion through activities and employment opportunities, thus organizing events to facilitate the meeting between companies and future employees.

Finally, the day ended with a meeting with the territorial director of the MFR, Christelle Billard. She presented us with a project through which they want to promote the integration of the unemployed into the labor market. This project aims to produce organic vegetables, which will be used to prepare meals in MFRs, public schools, but also to sell in a shop and a solidarity restaurant. They received 1,5 ha of land from the management of Verdaine for the cultivation of these organic vegetables. From this project was born the association "Culture of insertion", through it the unemployed have the chance to learn what a job is and to benefit from on-the-job training. Also through this project, citizens try to learn about the importance of organic vegetables in the diet and the importance of supporting local producers, the principle used being that of direct purchase from the producer (short chain ). The jobs offered by this association are part-time (25h / week), but they nevertheless allow many people to be introduced to the labor market. Over the next 3 years, they want to increase their production capacity to 9 ha and attract as many MFRs into the project as they are currently successful, as the project was started by 3 of these schools, but is ongoing. other MFRs joined him.

In conclusion, we can say that these visits have allowed us to better understand the challenges facing the Meuse, these situations are found in many rural areas of Europe, and the way they try to face them and find solutions. solutions. They should be an example of how we can find solutions by inviting all sectors that are directly affected by the issues to discussions, and find a long-term solution to help our territories grow and flourish.

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