Ascenseur and YHP France Provide 25 Internships to Fight Youth Unemployment in France

Launch of YHP France project “En Stage!” supports young people to find meaningful employment

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on young people, and many of them are concerned about their future careers. Job cuts and a reduction in the number of internships available have negatively impacted students’ standard of living. A recent survey from the French Labour Ministry revealed that the number of internships in 2020 fell by 22%.1

In addition, opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can be even more hard to come by. According to the French Government, the pandemic has made it more challenging for young people to get their first job. These obstacles of entering the working world have led to an increase in youth unemployment and poses challenges for young people in adapting to professional life in the future.  A recent survey commissioned by the Article 1 association confirmed just that. They found that during the school year, 51% of students expressed great difficulty in their search for internships and 45.2% of students said they were concerned about their financial situation during lockdown.2

To tackle this challenge head-on and to provide opportunities for brighter life chances for young people in France, AstraZeneca France is launching “En Stage!”. The programme is in collaboration with Ascenseur, to provide 25 young people the opportunity to complete a six-month internship starting in July 2021. This programme is aligned to the French governmental strategy of improving prospects for young people ‘Plan 1jeune, 1solution’ (one youth, one solution).

More than ever, young people face tremendous challenges and social inequalities have only been strengthened over the past year. AstraZeneca want to strengthen its action with Ascenseur to provide essential professional support for young people’s careers. It is also an initiative that supports the actions of the Ascenseur organisations throughout France to promote professional integration, work towards equal opportunities and meet the needs of young people, as much as possible

Olivier Nataf, President of AstraZeneca France

After an initial integration within the Ascenseur system, the interns will be distributed throughout France according to the needs of the organisations. “En Stage!” is an opportunity for young people to develop skills in a professional environment. For the Ascenseur member organisations, this programme will strengthen their actions in the region at a time when commitment for young people is necessary. As part of their mission, the trainees will be responsible for identifying synergies between public, private and associative actors to improve the work of Ascenseur in France.

This initiative is an example of social innovation by providing a new solution to respond to emergencies on the ground in the context of youth crisis. This is useful for young people who get professional experience, and it is useful for organisations that need additional resources. This collaboration will hopefully inspire other companies to participate, so we can work together to help young people get involved, build their future and find jobs everywhere in the country.

Benjamin Blavier, President of the Collective Ascenseur

Find all partners and details of the "En Stage!" project on the Ascenseur website

Learn more about the Young Health Programme in France


1. "The number of internships in companies decreases in spring 2020", Dares Focus n°12, Tristan Paloc, Ministry of Labour

2. Study "Inequalities in access to internships", based on an Opinion Way survey for the association Article 1. Two samples were interviewed. A sample of 635 young people supported by the association Article 1; a sample of 1007 young people aged 18 to 25, representative of the French population of young people aged 18 to 25. This sample was constituted according to the quota method, based on the criteria of gender, age, activity and region of residence.