Recruitment of apprentices: what chance for atypical profiles?

Spring is the peak of activity when it comes to “recruitment of apprentices”. Everywhere in Switzerland, young people from the age of 15 are putting the finishing touches to their cover letter and their CV and scrutinizing the offers. Interviews are in full swing and apprenticeship contracts will be signed until the end of the summer.

Finding an apprenticeship is not an easy thing: it requires investment and courage not to be demotivated by negative responses. Especially since the places are expensive. Especially in Geneva, which has the lowest rate of apprentices in Switzerland compared to total full-time jobs (1.7% compared to 4.7% in Switzerland).

Read also: Coronavirus: the worrying situation of apprentices

For so-called “atypical” profiles, the competition is particularly tough. They are nevertheless bound to do the impossible: access to training is their best chance of protecting themselves from future recourse to social assistance or long periods of unemployment. The stakes are therefore high on both an individual and societal level.

Speech rather than facts

It is fashionable to talk about the importance of the person, beyond his file. We hear that the selection criteria are changing, that interpersonal skills surpasses the know-how which can always be acquired, particularly when we talk about learning.

Within the Qualife Foundation, where 64 young people are currently supported in their search for learning, we would like to see this discourse reflected more in the facts. The process of recruiting an apprentice is above all a cold process, where digital takes an ever greater part and where the requirements only increase. The appointment on the ground or the exchange by telephone have been replaced by documents to be entered online, preventing the meeting between two human beings.

But when an old report card weighs more in the selection process than the intrinsic motivation to train for a trade, what chances are left to those who have, at some point and for various reasons, dropped out of the school system?

Structures like ours help young people with a non-linear career to build a solid professional project, to have the best possible chances of accessing an apprenticeship and to go to the end of it thanks to a follow-up throughout the training period. . But that is not enough: companies aware of the importance of training the next generation (the various administrative and financial aids facilitate this) can decide to encourage meetings between two people for a successful collaboration. Hiring a future apprentice supported by a structure offering follow-up during the apprenticeship, both for the apprentices and their training companies, maximizes the chances of success for all parties.

An interview or an internship

As it is difficult to discover a musical talent in someone who is deprived of his instrument, it is difficult to identify the human qualities and skills of a candidate who is not invited to join. an interview or an internship. Recruitment processes based on standardized criteria miss out on talent and candidates who have a lot to offer companies. Having a non-standard career path means being endowed with valuable skills such as adaptability, imagination, sense of recognition.

Let’s be aware of this and ask ourselves if we are giving enough chances to some atypical young people who are nevertheless so motivated.

Also read: Develop your “soft skills”, or learn the innate

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