For more than nine centuries Les Compagnons du Devoir have been providing high quality training for young people in a variety of manual trades. Our training offers both traditional apprenticeships and higher level skills training. Trainees move between workplaces all over France and also abroad, learning a trade but also about themselves, through experience of different people and cultures. All our trainees are expected to travel abroad so we also welcome young people coming to train in France.
Employers working with Les Compagnons du Devoir have an opportunity to employ skilled and reliable trainees, with varying levels of expertise. Our young people bring energy, flexibility and a cross cultural perspective. Les Compagnons du Devoir also provide bespoke in house training packages for existing employees.
We are a national vocational training provider, established according to the French Association Act of 1901 and recognised as a public benefit organisation. Our training helps our students achieve excellence in one of 30 trades from initial qualifications to degree level.
At the end of the 1970s, when the journeyman program of the Les Compagnons du Devoir was developing mainly in France, Compagnons journeymen began to arrive in Montreal. Later, a House of Compagnons was opened, and then a Province was created. This was made possible thanks to the Compagnons who decided to settle in Montreal, temporarily or permanently. Today, we count more than fifty Compagnons living in Quebec. As a result of their investment as well as partner companies, it is estimated that at least 300 young French journeymen from all trades came to spend a year of experience in Quebec since the 1980s.
In France Les Compagnons du Devoir operate 40 training centres (part of a network of 80 hostel) across the country where we provide initial training for apprentices in our 30 trades. The apprenticeship is a 2-3 year course where students alternate between 6 weeks working with their employers, and 2 weeks full-time residential training at our centres. During the 2-week block, students are living and working alongside qualified and experienced “journeymen” (see below). On completion students receive a recognised qualification in their chosen trade.
We also provide higher level training for qualified tradespeople. This is based on a “journeyman” model where the trainee hones their skills, travelling from town to town, working in different companies during the day, while living in one of our 80 houses. In each house the “journeyman” has the opportunity for professional instruction and support in the evenings and at weekends from experienced colleagues in the network. This includes access to classrooms and workshops. The house also provides the journeyman with accommodation in a community environment.
During this Journey, the trainees are expected to work for at least one year in a foreign country. This obliges them to broaden their horizons, discover a new culture and learn a new language. During this year the trainees can charter their progress buy using our online training platform “Aquisav”.
All our training in France is open to young people applying from any country in the world and from any ethnic or cultural background.
Our training centres also have the facilities to provide bespoke training either for individuals wanting to develop their skills, or for companies requiring in-house training for their employees.
Training with Les Compagnons du Devoir offers lifelong membership of an association of tradespeople. This network provides opportunities for ongoing professional development, either in technical skills or related areas such as business development and management. The association is both across trades and within trades. Each trade is always looking at ways of encouraging innovation and technology, seeking to anticipate future developments.
Some key figures
- More than 10 000 apprentices in training
- More than 3 000 young professionals improving their skills on the Tour de France, 400 of them abroad
- 90% of the apprentices have a job after their training
- 88% success rate in initial training exams thanks to our personalized tutoring
- 84% of the apprentices still work in their trade 5 years after their initial training
- More than 8 500 employees per year trained in France
A network of 38 000 partner companies
Apprentices training with us in France have a short 3-week work placement abroad as part of their basic training. Most of these placements take place in Europe but have also been as far afield as Russia or Canada. We are always open to exploring new links in other countries.
As part of the “journeyman” curriculum, trainees spend at least a year working abroad, to develop their knowledge and understanding of other cultures, languages and work environments. Trainees also have the opportunity to participate in our specialised international training courses.
Our extensive network of international partnerships is supported by an international administrative department, located in Paris, with national co-ordinators currently based in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. We also provide audits and tailored training to wide range of international companies.