On Wednesday 6th September, youths from a professional integration centre in Brétigny-sur-Orge were given a warm welcome by 50 Thales employees on the Thales site in Vélizy. This second solidarity day was filled with kindness, respect and sharing between all participants.
In response to a first meeting organised last July at the “Epide” in Brétigny-sur-Orge, a professional integration centre located in the southern suburbs of Paris, 15 of the young volunteers registered there came to meet with Thales employees for a day full of emotion and sharing. The objective was to strengthen the ties forged in July and enable these young people to consolidate their professional projects with the help of motivated staff, happy to share their knowledge and experience working for Thales.
The day kicked off with a pictionary, (a drawing word-guessing game) to help build trust in a playful way: participants took turns drawing their dream job… discovering at times that youths and Thales employees shared the same one: “Astronaut! I wanted to be one too! “. Then, General Alain Bouquin, Defence advisor for Thales and former commander of the French Foreign Legion, left a lingering impression on his young audience after giving a speech that raised many questions. The General strongly insisted on the fact that in the army everything is built on merit, and that “it is necessary to start from the bottom, by standing guard and cleaning rooms” even when one is a General. He also gave some advice on how to join the Legion: “you must do a lot of sports, be ready to obey orders, and above all, you must have a very strong will”. “The General’s experience makes me want to become a legionnaire even more and to enroll in the army. I also believe that taking pride and being happy in my work is very important. And the General described it all so well.” said Azhar.
Following a general presentation of Thales and its activities, the young people took part in workshops presented by various departments to discover trades related to their aspirations and: security, IT, catering, administration, etc. “I am so happy! Now I know what diplomas I need to become a security guard!” Flona exclaimed, after taking part in a workshop with Nathalie Gaillard, Helios site manager on the Security team. As for Fatima, she was very inspired by the presentation of Rémi Tromeur, contract manager of IT support: “Through his explanations, I discovered new possibilities and now I can really see myself working in this sector”.
Under the expert eye of Daphnée Blouet, recruitment manager, the 50 volunteer employees then helped the youths to design their CVs to enhance their experience and training. They were also given tips for interviews through simulations. “This workshop helped me a lot. I have expressed things that I would never have found the courage or inspiration to express” confirmed Warren with a big smile.
At the end of the day, a final round of discussion brought each participant to express in a word his feelings of this second solidarity day: “human”, “future”, “enriching”, “passion”, “ambition”, “discovery”, “success”, “solidarity”, “formidable”…” Matt Pothecary, VP Group Communications, concluded these exchanges with a word of encouragement addressed to the youths: “Believe in yourselves and go as far as possible! We believe in you, you can do it. “.
This solidarity action was coordinated by the Thales Foundation.
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