Signature of the Manifesto of the "Etats de la France" by Emmanuel Levacher, CEO of ARQUUS

ARQUUS |

Signature of the Manifesto of the "Etats de la France" by Emmanuel Levacher, CEO of ARQUUS

The Manifesto of the Etats de la France was signed by 76 CEOs of multinational foreign-owned subsidiaries established in France. This took place on 21 November 2019 in Paris.

Arquus is a company run using foreign capital investment, owned by the Swedish Volvo Group. However, France has a strong imprint on Arquus' DNA - a fact that is clear to see in the social and economic support provided to regions in which Arquus is present.

This manifesto represents a commitment made to France by these companies. Foreign-owned groups established in France total 17,000 companies, providing 2.2 million jobs. They represent a third of all French exports and make up 21% of the country's R&D.

As well as contributing to France's influence abroad and its ability to attract investment, these companies are big players in the French economy and in the creation of wealth in the country. They generate production, investment, training opportunities, jobs and exports as well as innovation - all of which are crucial pillars in the nation's economy.

These companies may be foreign-owned, but they are no less French for all that. By signing this manifesto, they are committing themselves to integrating young people from working class and rural neighbourhoods, people from deprived areas and from abroad.

Convictions of ARQUUS

The signatory companies to this manifesto have joined together with Emmanuel Levacher, our CEO, as follows:

"All of us here share the sentiments of the President of the Republic when he says "something is wrong when equally deserving people have differing opportunities for accessing the job market depending on where they live, their family, the colour of their skin or their name".

All of us here have decided to rise to his call to make our society more inclusive.

We are doing this out of conviction. We know from experience that aiding the less fortunate into the world of work, integrating a variety of profiles into our companies, creating diverse teams and willing to listen to different opinions is a source of innovation and performance.

We are also taking this step because we believe it to be our duty, both in acknowledgement to our host country and to demonstrate our integration in local areas. We want to bring our own contribution to fighting against social exclusion and economic deprivation.

For historic or cultural reasons, mainly in relation to the practices of our parent companies, each of our companies currently has a different inclusion policy.

But regardless of our level of involvement, our current contribution is considerable. Our companies have over 5000 young people on their apprenticeships, over 11,000 on work placements as part of their studies, and almost 2000 graduate trainees.

Although much remains to be done in this area, we are all committed to do more, and we are setting objectives for those yet to achieve them. To this end, we are committed to:

- Developing traineeships reserved for postgraduates, and allocating 50% further traineeships for students from priority urban and rural areas.

 

- Encouraging our companies to increase the number of young people working with us as part of their studies and on apprenticeships, and adding 50% of these extra traineeships to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and rural areas.

 

- Increasing diversity in our recruitment and career development policies, committing to training initiatives surrounding discrimination, stereotypes and unconscious bias.

 

- Increasing the share of our apprenticeship tax allocated to funding specialist schools for the inclusion and career development of young people from deprived backgrounds.

 

- Developing sponsorship initiatives for young people from working class backgrounds so that direction and success of their studies and their career development depend on their own merits rather than their personal backgrounds.

 

- Intensifying the support we bring to bodies specialising in inclusivity for young people arising from diversity in priority urban areas.

 

Alongside these commitments, we are also keen to acknowledge that where appropriate, based on the nature of our professional activities, we also seek to contribute to welcoming refugees, working with public and private initiatives supporting paths to employment for those fleeing their countries to come to France.

We are well aware that our response to the appeal launched by the French President inviting companies to join him in this initiative will not be enough. We seek to lead by example, to bear testimony to the roots our companies have put down in France."

Excerpt from the Manifesto of the Etats de la France.