Supporting local economies
We’ve stepped up our contribution to regional growth through a wide range of initiatives designed to:
- optimize purchasing from local businesses
- make it easier for SMEs to win contracts
- promote social mediation by putting mediators aboard our trains and at our PIMMS public service access points
- cultivate entrepreneurship, especially in disadvantaged neighbourhoods
Playing a more active role
In 2016 we did €1.8 billion worth of business with local SMEs—about 22.6% of total purchasing. In 2017 we boosted that figure to 30%.
Promoting social innovation
SNCF Développement is SNCF’s subsidiary for economic development and entrepreneurship, tasked with:
- helping businesses and communities adapt to the changing industrial landscape
- working to reinvigorate the local socio-economic fabric
- supporting entrepreneurs
- promoting innovation
In 2016 alone, SNCF Développement invested a total of €1.3 million in funding for 154 entrepreneurs. Of the entrepreneurs SNCF has backed since 2011, we made loans to 28%, awarded grants to 14%, and helped 24% as they left an existing job to develop a new business. We provided non-financial support to nearly one-third.
Jeune Pousse programme
In 2015 SNCF Développement launched a targeted entrepreneurship programme—a move that puts innovation at the heart of its priorities. Dubbed Jeune Pousse (French for “start-up”), the programme provides new businesses with services developed by other new entrepreneurs, showcases their projects and helps them grow their networks.
Since 2007, SNCF has worked actively with the French State to deploy a public deterrence policy designed to prevent delinquency and repeat offenses and steer offenders away from a life of crime.
Concretely, this means that—instead of going to prison—participants serve community service sentences by coming to work for us. Under our social engagement policy, they repair damage in stations, file archival material and clean up outdoor areas as an exercise in education and good citizenship.
In addition, SNCF employees regularly speak to groups as part of civic responsibility courses designed to give participants more respect for people and property.
Under a 2008 partnership with France’s Chantier école network, we’re helping the long-term unemployed get back to work—or even get into the labour market for the first time.
All across France, SNCF employees are working with Chantier école organizers to create back-to-work projects in and around railway stations. These projects hire the unemployed as well as people who are struggling to overcome specific social and professional challenges.
In 2016, our back-to-work sites generated 50,856 hours of hands-on work experience under more than 160 contracts.
In 1995 we created PIMMS (Points d’Information and de Médiation Multi Services), a network of public service access points. Since then, we’ve set up 66 PIMMS sites across France.
Local residents with little or no access to public services can go to their local PIMMS for individual assistance with everyday tasks, including a wide range of services that complement those of the French State, local municipalities and other public and private providers.
In addition to making services more accessible for local communities, PIMMS act as a career springboard for the people who staff them. Some 60% of these workers move into a long-term job or credentialing programme when they leave the network.
In particular, SNCF supports PIMMS mediators and helps them gain access to sales jobs within the Group. Our “Target: Jobs” programme has recruited about ten of them to work aboard our trains or in sales positions in stations, and Keolis has done the same, offering jobs to a total of 34 mediators.
Fighting social exclusion and economic insecurity in our stations
Stations and other rail facilities often serve as a refuge for the vulnerable and destitute. Every day, millions of passengers and SNCF employees pass migrants, transients and homeless people sheltering in these spaces. We’ve launched targeted programmes to give these individuals the help they need.
More generally—and more than ever—SNCF works hand in hand with associations throughout France. Under partnership agreements, our in-station personnel and leaders of local associations team up to identify homeless people and ensure they’re getting the right kind of help.
Our agreement with the Paris region is a perfect example of our commitment to addressing this issue.