In 2013 and 2014, the Volvo group welcomed around 40 Grenoble Ecole de Management students to its plants in Bourg-en-Bresse and Vénissieux. These visits are part of a company-wide strategy that aims to seduce future generations by showing them the profession and its possibilities. It's an exchange that can also be used to boost the industry's image. Guy Bravais, in charge of partnerships with schools, explains why and how the group invests in this policy.
A key element of the group's HR policy
A highly-organized strategy that is integrated into the group's human resource policy gives meaning to these visits. "Every year we welcome nearly 4,000 youth from middle schools to higher education. This organized strategy is a result of our senior management's commitment to this action." explains Guy Bravais.
Choosing a theme linked to teaching
A company visit allows students to discover the practical applications of their theoretical know-how. For example: "First year students from Grenoble Ecole de Management visited our truck engine assembly plant in Venissieux and students in the MTI master visited our truck assembly plant in Bourg-en-Bresse. This gave them the opportunity to see lean management in action." adds Guy Bravais. Such examples highlight the benefits of the partnership signed with the school in 2013. The students prepare in advance and the visits are planned in a manner that adds to their learning experience.
Discovering the realities of company life
"Meeting and exchanging with professionals at a plant is a key part of the experience. This allows students to learn first-hand about our activities, the work conditions, the group's culture and our values. They can smell, hear and feel the rhythm of a production plant as well as ask any questions they might have." observes Guy Bravais. Students have the opportunity to take part in a memorable experience that will stay with them longer than any classroom lecture.
Transparency to reinforce the employer brand
Certain areas of activity, such as the industrial sector, suffer from a bad reputation and have trouble recruiting. Implementing company visits is a great way to overcome these received ideas. "This strategy marks the Volvo group's strong commitment to counter received ideas about the industrial sector in general." Despite numerous opportunities and diverse fields of work, the sector is often thought to have no real future. This is also an opportunity to improve our employer brand as visiting students become our best ambassadors and are also potential interns, trainees and recruits." concludes Guy Bravais.