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Eiffage Foundation visits the experiment Zero Long-term Unemployment Zone at Colombey-les-Belles in France

Eiffage Group

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Following a renewal of its partnership with the Zero Long-term Unemployment Zones experiment (TZ), the Eiffage Foundation visited Colombey-les-Belles in the Meurthe-et-Moselle region to take stock of initiatives by the two job-creating enterprises : “La Fabrique” and “De Laine en Rêves”.

Following an initial 3 years partnership with the Zero Long-term Unemployment Regional Experiment Fund , the Foundation chose to renew its partnership for two years until 2020, in order to support the full experiment in the Colombey-les-Belles region lasting 5 years. The aim of the experiment is to demonstrate that it is possible for a region to achieve zero long-term unemployment, if the logic is reversed and the skills of long-term unemployed people are taken as the starting point to create jobs that have social value but are not necessarily financially profitable.

Launched in January 2017 and targeting the 513 long-term unemployed in the Pays de Colombey and South Toulouse regions, by February 2019: 180 people had been met with, including 73 who took part in the initiative and 36 who went out the project. Taking part in the Zero Long-term Unemployment Zones initiative actually created a dynamic that enabled 20 people to find jobs in the interim and 3 people to start training programmes.

 6 jobs created at “De Laine en Rêves”
Secretarial/Sales 2
Mattress manufacturing 3
Shearing 1


The jobs are distributed as follows:

63 jobs created at “La Fabrique”
Recycling centre 15
Forestry work 9
Market gardening 11
Equipment 2
Social links 2
Service providing 6
Project team services 2,5
Mobile food shop 2
Renovation 6
Mechanical equipment 1
Support services 6,5


During our visit, we also discussed future challenges that the experiment will be facing in this region:
The main challenge remains achieving total coverage! In other words, creating as many jobs as there are motivated long-term unemployed people, based around their skills, aptitudes and abilities!
To achieve this goal, several options are under consideration relating to the optimisation of natural resources (wood waste, compost), minor heritage sites (laundry houses, calvaries, exceptional monuments, etc.) and services for the general public (digital writer, rural concierge, etc.).

Discussions are also underway to create a “support functions" job-creating enterprise to pool skills and manage the "structural" costs of additional jobs. A new job-creating enterprise could promote food preserving projects associating market gardeners and nurseries in the region in partnership with the Chamber of Agriculture, and to set up a communal honey house in a village that has a tradition of bee-keeping.

The region is confirming the basic premise of the experiment: there is plenty of work available and anybody can be employed.
Considering that, the association is now motivated around one goal: extending the legislation that made it possible to reallocate employment-related aid to the creation of job-creating enterprises to as many regions as possible by 2020, before the legislation is rolled out across all of France.

You can submit your project to the Eiffage Foundation online:
We advise that you contact the Foundation beforehand to check if your project is eligible: Tel. 0171591118