Nassima, integration employee, at work, under the watchful eye of her manager, Julie Bourgeois. (©Renaud Vilafranca)

This position marks for them the reunion with the world of work. The central kitchen in Mantes-la-Jolie, managed by Inserxo, a subsidiary of Sodexo, employs six employees in professional integration out of eight people.

Here are prepared part of the meals served to the students of the international high school of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and that of Buc. A veritable professional springboard, the establishment has just received the RSEi label (Social Responsibility for Inclusive Companies), a reward, in particular, for its good practices in terms of inclusion, management and respect for the environment.

1,400 logs for the Christmas meal

During our visit, just before the school holidays, these little catering hands had made 1,400 logs for the Christmas meal for the two high schools. Most of them had never worked in this field before, if not their first job, and learned everything on the job.

Different paths but one thing in common: a big hole in the CV. Houaria, for example, alternated between small jobs as a housekeeper and her life as a stay-at-home mother, then found herself unemployed for a year, before landing this job in Mantes-la-Jolie. “I had never worked in a kitchen before,” testifies this 43-year-old woman, who stopped school in ninth grade.

For his colleague Nassima, the problem is different. Arrived from Algeria in 2017 to get married, she did not speak French. “Before, I worked in commerce. But here it was not possible because of the language barrier. His social worker finally found him this job in the kitchen.

A year later, the forties masters the trade at your fingertips, as she demonstrates by explaining how the cold chain works through the menu: “Our chef lowers his level to make himself understood,” she continues. He trained us in every position in the kitchen. »

Solve personal problems to move forward

Some of those who apply here drag behind them a complicated life course, which took them out of the world of work: serious illness, disability, social phobia, domestic violence. “We are here to teach them the codes again, explains Julie Bourgeois, head of Inserxo, also established in a dozen colleges in the department as a partner of C’Midy, the manager of the canteens of Yvelines. There is an integration process with reinforced support at the start, which includes a social and professional diagnosis. »

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The company also takes care of settling some side issues (housing problem, driving licence), which can represent brakes for the future. Because the objective is not to keep them in the company all their career, but to see them rebound elsewhere at the end of their CDD insertion which can last up to 24 months. “On average 80% of those who come through us then find a stable job,” says Julie Bourgeois.

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Mantes-la-Jolie: in this school kitchen, we learn to work again