The 2013/04/23 at 07:56
Rejuvenating the image of French industry and promoting its dynamism and potential. This is the objective of the French Ministry for Productive Recovery, that decided to launch the “Industrie & Innovation” (Industry & Innovation) train on the railways of France in an initiative showing off the nation’s industrial excellence in different regions. The voyage, beginning on 19 March and concluding on 18 April, included some twenty stops in the country, as well as an emblematic stop at Düsseldorf in Germany, at the heart of the Ruhr region known for its industrial history. Local inventiveness and creativity, supported by the CCI network, were placed in the spotlight.
With the technological and industrial changes overturning various professions today, many streams are on the brink of significant structural changes, from aeronautics to robotics, via chemicals and metallurgy. All along the 400 metres of the train – the equivalent of two TGVs (high-speed trains) – visitors had the opportunity to discover the innovations in eco-industry or green chemistry for example, domains that combine the savoir-faire of classic industry with sustainable development. Many materials or polymers today are composed from substances based on plant matter, resulting in a new form of chemistry that ultimately will replace petrochemicals. The UIC (Union des Industries Chimiques or Union of Chemical Industries) points out that 150 SMEs are already positioned on this strongly expanding market in the Midi-Pyrénées region alone.
By 2015, it is estimated that 80,000 to 100,000 positions are to be created in industry in France, notably thanks to these mutations. “Job creations that are particularly important because a position created in industry generates three indirect job creations in other services,” explains Guy Métral, President of the CCI of Haute-Savoie. “Industry is a real job-creating machine that constructs the future. So it’s an excellent initiative to cover the country this way by promoting enterprises, their employees, and local projects,” he continues. The Directorate of Economic Development at the CCI Paris–Île de France indicates that “many young people looking for work have lodged their CVs on board this train. These CVs will be diffused in 8 CCIs in the Île-de-France region.” A “Bourse aux Candidatures” (Applications Market), created for the event by the CCI France, enables the network’s enterprises to access promising profiles in their regions thanks to the CVs gathered during the passages in each city.
This was also the opportunity for the CCIs to present the 700 or so training programmes in the industrial stream that they offer throughout the territory, 80 % of which are accessible via apprenticeship. Every year, the CCIs train almost 50,000 persons in industrial metiers. According to Guy Métral, “people can only be hired when there are growth opportunities, a real long-term vision on the economical front, as is the case in multiple branches of activity in the industrial domain, synonymous with tomorrow’s sectors.”
Many well-known enterprises took part in this atypical operation, including the automobile manufacturer Toyota whose objective was to present its hybrid vehicles manufactured in Valenciennes. As for the cement manufacturer Lafarge, another major group represented, it was the opportunity to promote its systems and innovations aimed at improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Ervor, a French producer of air compressors used in tramways, as well as Bodet, a European time management leader, were also on board. The automobile equipment manufacturer Michelin took advantage of the operation to publicise its first tyre specifically designed for electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the leader in rail transport production, Alstom, unveiled to visitors its smart window prototype with an integrated screen. All concrete projects resulting from innovative strategies aimed at updating industry.
Other large companies and reputed organisations such as the UIMM (Union des Industries et Métiers de la Métallurgie or Union of Metallurgical Industries and Metiers) or the GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales or French Aeronautic and Space Industries Grouping) also took part in this event.