A concert for a job: in Hauts-de-France, Pôle emploi plays an offbeat participation

Breaking the codes of recruitment. With the help of an artistic director, eight men and five women aged 21 to 60, currently unemployed, prepared a concert to attract potential employers.

A cabinetmaker, a home helper, a computer specialist, a secretary… What do they have in common? All are job seekers and musicians, united for a one-night concert organized by Pôle emploi in front of potential employers. Baptized “The art of getting to work“, the system launched in Hauts-de-France in December 2021, has already been applied to the circus, the theater or the museum with around a hundred operations planned for 2022.

But Thursday, June 16, at the Denain theater, the initiative is unprecedented: “Associating music and employment, it has never been done“, notes Fabien Musy, team leader at the Pôle emploi of the northern city. This amateur musician is convinced that music lovers have “skills transferable to employment“. For the regional director of the public establishment, Frédéric Danel, it is necessary “breaking the codes of recruitment“. The objective is twofold, he told AFP:Accelerate the return to work of applicants who are far from it” and “enable recruiters to find talent.»

They are thirteen job seekers – eight men and five women from 21 to 60 years old – to have prepared this evening for eight weeks, with the help of an artistic director. Some are RSA or long-term applicants. The motley little group was selected because their CV displayed their musical skills. Many were skeptical at first, like Jim, a guitarist who is looking into computers and feared “one more stupid thing“.

“Incredible talents!”

During the general rehearsal, Christophe, guitarist and electrician, confides that he was “isolatedin his job search. “We all carry each other“, Welcomes this fifties registered with Pôle emploi for three years, who hopes to win”many contacts» professionals. Tracy, 25, who left schoolvery earlyand had her first child at sixteen, worked as a saleswoman, carer, singer and waitress in a bar. She hopes to becomeeyelash and eyebrow stylist“, but the diplomas are expensive and she is open to proposals. “To go from a simple call from Pôle emploi to a theater like that, you would hardly believe itshe wonders.

It pulled me out of my hole“, also says Axel, drummer and cabinetmaker by training. Even though “it’s been a bit like “our unemployed have incredible talents”jokes the 31-year-old. Not far away, computer scientist Jean-Yves, sixty, is more perplexed. “The employer does not ask me to play the troubadour!he squeals. “Treat yourself tonight, the rest will follow!“, retorts the director of the Denain agency, Thierry Danhiez, who insists on the follow-up after this evening.

“They can help us”

The operation brings together five Pôle emploi agencies in the surrounding area, in an employment area where the unemployment rate reached 12% in the fourth quarter of 2021 (compared to 7.4% nationally). After a hairdressing and make-up session in the dressing rooms, it’s time for the stage: from Telephone to AC-DC via Clara Luciani or Maxime Le Forestier, the program is as eclectic as the little band. The pieces are interspersed with video clips where everyone introduces themselves for job dating after the show, with local employers from sectors such as automotive, IT or commerce. Some of the unemployed artists are very courted, like the charismatic Tracy solicited by “a lotof employers. But others leave empty-handed, such as Jean-Yves who blurts out: “The recruiters, I don’t know where they are.»

An employer who works for Suez saw in Alexandre, one of the drummers, “roughly the profile» that he is looking for, welcoming an operation that «show people by their worth“. Another, in insurance, spotted Tatiana, a singer with boundless energy. He thinks this 39-year-old woman, who wants to be a bookseller or legal assistant, would make an excellent salesperson. Whatever happens, this operation will at least have changed Tatiana’s view of Pôle Emploi: “I tell myself that in the end, they can help us.»

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