Providing local employment opportunities in Marseille

11 Jun 2014

Hammerson’s 61,000 m2 development of Les Terrasses du Port shopping centre in Marseille created around 2,000 permanent retail and leisure jobs. Our groundbreaking partnership with national agency Pôle Emploi, and local associations Emergence(s) and La Mission Locale de la Ville de Marseille, facilitated access to jobs and training for local people.

Hammerson France set up a three-year partnership with the French national employment agency Pôle Emploi in 2011, designed to provide a first-time skills matching service for retail sector jobs in France. Initially destined to promote opportunities at our existing retail destinations, in 2012 the partnership was extended to include job opportunities created at our major development in Marseille, Les Terrasses du Port.

The Challenge

With 170 new stores and restaurants opening in May 2014, our challenge was to ensure that local people gained access to employment opportunities, and developed the right skills to do the jobs effectively.

The solution put in place built on Hammerson’s extensive recruitment and skills training experience, developed to support large retail developments in the UK.

In November 2013, Les Terrasses de l’Emploi (“The Jobs Terrace”), 2 ship containers converted into an employment centre, opened its doors next to the shopping centre construction site. Over 1000 of the 2000 jobs available at the scheme were advertised through the centre, with the remainder managed by the retailers and leisure operators themselves. Some jobs with Hammerson and its suppliers were also advertised through the initiative.

Success of the Partnership

The partnership’s success is borne out by the figures. By 24 May 2014, the day the centre opened to the general public:

  • Around 8,600 people had visited the Terrasses de l’Emploi container, submitting a total of 3,800 job applications.
  • 136 recruitment sessions had been organised by the employment partnserhip, and three employment forums
  • 805 posts had been successfully filled

The partnership was instrumental in providing access to jobs to people who had previously experienced difficulties gaining employment. Of the 805 people who gained jobs as a result of the initiative, 62% were previously registered as unemployed jobseekers, 31% are from deprived areas of the city, and 41% are under the age of 25.

A key focus of the initiative was providing skills training. Les Terrasses de l’Emploi financed 585 training courses for local people, with subjects including sales and customer service, cookery, security and English language.

The Terrasses de l’Emploi will remain open until July 2014, to help retailers to fill the 200 posts remaining at the centre.

Of the 805 people who gained jobs as a result of Pole Emploi,

62% were previously registered as unemployed jobseekers, 31% are from deprived areas of the city, and 41% are under the age of 25