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    Schneider Electric receives Trophy for long-term integration of young people by business

    Tuesday, February 25, 2003, Henri Lachmann, CEO of Schneider Electric, received the "Trophy for long-term integration of young people by business" from the hands of François Fillon, Minister of Social Affairs, Work and Solidarity. This prize is awarded for Schneider Electric’s policy which combats the exclusion of young people without qualifications.
    It is the first time this prize has been awarded. Created by the Association Entreprises et Progrès, chaired by Paul Dubrule, it also rewards the commitment and know-how of business in contributing to long-term integration of young people. With the prize, this association is seeking to honour the instructive value and goals of remarkable initiatives and encourage the spread of best practices.

    Schneider Electric: a long-term commitment against exclusion
    For many years now, Schneider Electric has been working among young people in difficulty or without qualifications. The Group is convinced that its performance is a direct result of the quality of the people which comprise it, and that it is also built on its integration and involvement in its environment.

    Anchored in the past, this commitment contributes to local economic development. It is sometimes supported by customers, small firms or industrial companies, local economic players, who offer, for example, long-term employment to the young people trained at Schneider Electric.
    The personnel's active contribution is also one of the keys to success of this undertaking. Every year, 1,500 tutors welcome and train young people.

    In France, with 4,000 young people mixing work and study in this way between 1993 and 2001, Schneider Electric has developed expertise, tools and a quality system for professional integration which have proved their worth: 90% success rate for diplomas - all levels - and 100% access to employment through alternate work/study schemes.

    Three main types of operations have been carried out:
    1. The youth policy: 400 work/study beneficiaries, including 6% disabled, and 1,000 trainees per year
    400 young people on work/study contracts (apprenticeship or qualification) and more than 1,000 trainees are welcomed every year, with priority given to:
    > low levels of qualification to study for CAP, BEP and Bac Pro vocational diplomas
    > young disabled people
    > action in favour of guidance and pre-qualification for young people with employment difficulties
    The "youth policy" relies on local partnerships in each of Schneider Electric's employment areas (mainly the regions of Grenoble, Angoulême, Dijon and Haute-Normandie) with schools, apprentice training centres, associations, businesses and public organizations who work with young disabled people and other young people with few or no qualifications, unable to find employment or experiencing difficulties in terms of social and/or professional integration.

    2. The association Espace Emploi Alternants Inter-Entreprise Rhône Alpes
    Every year, this association guides 200 young people from work-study programmes and 100 educational assistants (the "Youth Employment" people from the French National Education system) to find a profession and a job that match their personal goals.

    3. A wide range of local initiatives by managers and employees, encouraged by the Schneider Electric Youth Opportunities Foundation
    Some of the major operations in 2002:
    > the "5 days for integration" operation at Angoulême, organized with 5 associations, leading to the signature of a long-term partnership in March 2003,
    > the partnership with the Association "Sport dans la Ville" which led to the recruitment at Schneider Electric of a young educational assistant made available to supervise young people in difficult areas in Grenoble.
    80 employees act as Delegates of the Foundation to set up partnerships with the local associations.

    A commitment that stretches well beyond France
    After starting up in France, this policy of long-term commitment to young people without qualifications quickly spread, with the support of the Foundation, to 60 countries where Schneider Electric is also present.
    Since 2001, a large number of projects have seen the light of day: construction of schools in India, creation of scholarships for Chinese students, partnerships with technical schools in difficult areas in Brazil, Venezuela, Bulgaria, etc.

    The company's NEW2004 programme, launched at the beginning of 2002, included an invitation to boost the number and significance of the projects competing to develop voluntary initiatives for Schneider Electric's relationship with the Community, all over the world.