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2018-2020: Production Schools Gaining Ground

Production Schools – private, nonprofit institutions accredited by the French State – offer young people aged 15 to 18 skills-qualification training that prepares them for entry into the workforce, based on a “learning by doing” approach. Students learn a trade by producing products in response to actual orders from customers.

In March 2018, in line with its commitment to Youth Inclusion and Education, Total Foundation pledged a significant €60 million in financial support over ten years to the French National Federation of Production Schools (FNEP). The aim is to have 100 Production Schools across France.

A Rapidly Growing Network

Total Foundation’s long-term backing is aimed at helping to develop Production Schools across France. The goal is to take the network to another level, expanding it from 25 institutions currently to 100 in all 13 regions of metropolitan France, with the capacity to welcome 4,000 young people by 2028.

Total Foundation is supporting the creation of new schools, particularly ones specializing in industrial trades, by helping to fund feasibility studies and purchase equipment. Since the partnership agreement was signed in March 2018, Total Foundation has contributed to the opening of six new schools for machining, metalwork, woodwork and electrical engineering. These institutions now train students in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and four other departments (Calvados, Manche, Morbihan and Haute-Vienne). We have also helped nine existing schools expand their capacity by offering new qualifications or grades.

Support from Total Foundation Every Step of the Way

As well as the creation of new schools, our investment allows the FNEP to provide more support for project organizers who want to open an institution. Total Foundation’s support at every step of the process (from start-up costs until the school finds its financial footing) helps guarantee an excellent level of training and staff, all in line with the Production School label based on a unique learning model.

Maintaining consistency across the different schools in the network is also encouraged, particularly through a seminar for Production School principals held every year in Total’s training center in Bougival. These events are an opportunity to discuss and share methods that have proven effective.

Total Foundation also contributes to a financial support fund to help students in difficulty, which has already benefited nearly 500 young people. Lastly, since soft skills and broader horizons are also key to ensuring that the students flourish, initiatives on road safety – another of our priority areas – have been organized in 19 of the schools. The French corporate foundation also invites the young people to art exhibitions and opera performances. Two schools were even able to take part in creating artworks for the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale, which was supported by the foundation.

Recognition Opening up Promising Opportunities

In October 2019, Production Schools were included in the 21 initiatives selected for the Tour de France des Solutions(1). Spurred on by this recognition, the FNEP is currently examining 28 projects, including 15 that could lead to new schools being opened in 2020 and 2021. For these, Total Foundation is providing funding for ten feasibility studies. Total’s local teams are also working hard to help put the projects in place by promoting the Production School model, sharing their knowledge of the area, putting various local players in touch with each other and opening up their own ecosystem.

Supporting a Project Meeting All Our Commitments

Total Foundation chose to provide significant support to the FNEP because this initiative is in line with our values and expertise. Production Schools are a complementary, concrete and inspiring manifestation of our commitment to Youth Inclusion and Education. Located in the heart of our host regions, each school makes a valuable contribution to the vibrancy of the area. Well aware of the scale of the challenge, we have taken a partnership-based approach. Combining forces and working collaboratively with other public and private players are key to ensuring that the project is successful and sustainable.


Facts & Figures

The Production School network in January 2020:

  • 33 schools in 9 regions as of December 31, 2019
  • Nearly 930 young people enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year
  • In June 2019:
    • 87.5% success rate for certificates of competence (CAP)
    • 96% success rate for vocational diplomas (Bac Pro)

6 new schools opened with support from Total Foundation:

  • Usin’Eure (Evreux, Eure – machining)
  • La Cordée Nouvelle Aquitaine (Limoges, Haute Vienne – electrical engineering)
  • Usinage du Cotentin (Valognes, Manche – machining)
  • T’Cap T’Pro (Saumur, Maine et Loire – metalwork)
  • 100% Bosco (Caen, Calvados – woodwork)
  • Icam Vannes (Vannes, Morbihan – machining)

The Production School Network as of December 31, 2019


Production Schools in December 2019


(1) An event launched by the French Prime Minister following France’s national “Grand Débat”, as part of a larger push to promote national and regional projects for employment and positive change. The goal is to identify and develop effective initiatives for employment, training and the environment that bring together, regionally or locally, elected officials, nonprofits, trade unions, companies and citizens.