Rugby World Cup France 2023 and job dating, it’s a match!

From Marseille to Lille, via Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nantes and Nice, job dating events have been organised since the beginning of July by the Ovale Citoyen association and the OFII territorial directorates, for refugees, beneficiaries of international protection, beneficiaries of subsidiary or temporary protection.

Ovale Citoyen, which has been working since its creation in 2018 for the social inclusion of all individuals, has been selected by the organising committee of the Rugby World Cup France 2023 to carry out a strong action of professional integration with refugees, newcomers, beneficiaries of international, subsidiary or temporary protection in the 9 cities hosting the Rugby World Cup France 2023.

This is the first time that a major sporting event of this scale has proposed a scheme to promote the inclusion of this public.

The aim is to organise job datings from 2022 onwards, enabling them to apply for long-term jobs or training courses made available by all the World Cup’s partner companies.

The organisation of job datings

The partners of the Rugby World Cup France 2023 have a pool of job offers. Ovale citoyen communicates these to the OFII’s territorial directorate, which informs its partners and consequently the potential public before the job dating event.  A list of candidates is drawn up. There is no need to draw up a curriculum vitae, the aim is to rely on the candidate’s skills.

On the D-day of job datings 

Before meeting a potential recruiter or trainer, the candidates are invited, on a voluntary basis, to a small rugby match, which allows some to discover this sport and/or others to get out of isolation.

In Marseille, at the beginning of July, more than 80 candidates came to the GANAY forecourt of the Orange Vélodrome, sometimes accompanied by their social adviser or their language trainer, or through a network in the heat and blazing sun.  Some still had great difficulty in speaking French, but all were enthusiastic. The event around the oval ball brought together a mix of candidates, and women were not left out, even if few dared to enter the fray!

The OFII was able to meet and interview some jobseekers, including a Venezuelan refugee, with an unusual background, since he was a dentist in his country of origin and was in the process of obtaining a diploma equivalence, and while waiting to enter his university course next January, he was attending this event.

The meetings ended at around 5 p.m. and the OFII attended the interviews until the end. Candidates were offered a free ticket to a match taking place that evening.

In Bordeaux, on the weekend of 15 August, 40 beneficiaries of international protection were invited to the job dating held over two days.  30 jobs were offered, permanent contracts, fixed-term contracts or training. All in Bordeaux or nearby so that candidates can get to their place of work using easily accessible public transport.

In Nantes, more than a dozen candidates went to the Esplanade des Machines on the Ile de Nantes for an interview on 7 August.

Nantes was the place to be to discover the world of rugby and its beautiful sporting and human values. This gave some refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection the opportunity to try out the sport and then to discuss their professional future over a snack.

In Nice, on Thursday 15 September, 10 candidates attending the job dating event were welcomed with breakfast, followed by a match to facilitate networking. Individual interviews took place immediately afterwards with the director of Ovale Citoyen and a worker from the association.

A number of economic partners were present on site such as Société Générale, Cap Gemini, région sud, France 2023 rugby Tour, Andros, SNCF, Meta rugby, Udsp06, and the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas Territories.

More than 14 job offers were available.

First assessment

Thanks to the mobilisation of the OFII’s territorial directorates, more than 260 people, 66% men and 34% women, refugees, beneficiaries of international protection, subsidiary protection or temporary protection, were able to be interviewed.

The level of French is an essential element in access to employment, and the importance of language training courses within the framework of the Republican Integration Contract is even more apparent. Indeed, A2 level is required for a job and B1 for an apprenticeship.

To date, 15% of the candidates have obtained long term assignments, 21% have already had a first orientation interview and 25% are in the process of a second interview mainly in logistics jobs in large companies.