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French ministry of Education to introduce secondary school students to manual skills

By Florence Julienne


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Craftsmanship. Credits: ALAN DE LA CRUZ, Unsplash.

Faced with a labour shortage, the luxury goods industry in France is taking action. On December 14, 15, 16 and 17 2023, thirty companies belonging to the French Comité Colbert for luxury companies will be taking secondary school students and their families on a journey of discovery of manual skills at Station F in Paris’ 13th quarter.

Since the start of the school year in 2023, the timetable for classes from year 5 to year 3 of the French secondary school education system has included a ‘professional future’ half-day twice a month. This is dedicated to career guidance and bringing schools and businesses closer together. The ‘De(ux)mains du luxe’ event, in partnership with the French Ministry of Education and the Campus d'excellence Mode, Métiers d'Art, Design - Manufacture des Gobelins, is part of this new window on the professional world.

An introduction to sewing, embroidery, gilding, jewellery making, restaurant table setting and more. The second De(ux)mains du luxe event has three major objectives:

  • Introduce young people to skills-based professions through the practice of simple gestures.
  • Awaken the curiosity of nearly 4,000 young people through fun activities linked to know-how.
  • Present training opportunities, and above all careers, through master classes with professionals from the sector and dedicated career guidance workshops.

De(ux)mains du luxe Credits: Comité Colbert

For the first time, TikTok is sponsoring the event. During the month preceding the De(ux)mains du luxe, the social network so popular with young people will be the stage for a challenge open to all craftspeople, apprentices and enthusiasts of the art professions. Whatever their trade, each of them will share the specific features of their craft in a video lasting just a few dozen seconds. The best performance will be rewarded with a prize of €5,000, to be presented at Station F, in an exhibition area covering more than 900 square metres.

Entry is free and requires registration on the dedicated website. The visits on December 14 and 15 are reserved for school children accompanied by their class teacher. Those on December 16 and 17 are reserved for families.

For its second edition, the event is bringing together ten additional luxury houses, for a total of thirty French luxury brands: Atelier Mériguet-Carrère; Baccarat; Bernardaud; Boucheron; Cartier; Chanel; Christian Louboutin; Christofle; Faïencerie de Gien; Hermès (and its associated houses John Lobb and Puiforcat); Hôtel Plaza Athénée; J. M. Weston; Le Meurice; Le Ritz Paris; Le19M and its associated houses; LVMH and its associated houses; Pierre Frey; Potel & Chabot; Robert Haviland & C. Parlon; Van Cleef & Arpels; Mobilier National.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.FR. Translation and edit from French into English: Veerle Versteeg.