Croix-Rouge Insertion is an association created by the French Red Cross with the aim of developing sustainable employment access programs for the most disadvantaged individuals. As an approved structure for labor integration known as ESUS (Solidarity-based Company of Social Utility), Croix-Rouge Insertion is present throughout the French territory through its 13 establishments that offer workshops and integration companies.
In France, unemployment is one of the main causes of precariousness and exclusion. Based on this observation, the French Red Cross created Croix-Rouge Insertion in 2011. Each year, more than 1,000 individuals referred by the public employment service join the labor integration establishments. These individuals are hired for a fixed period with a 4-month insertion contract, which can be renewed for up to 2 years.
Within Croix-Rouge Insertion, employees in the process of labor integration readapt to a work environment, work in teams, and regain their self-confidence. They are accompanied by a professional integration counselor to define a professional project, eliminate barriers to employment (access to healthcare, housing, mobility issues, etc.), and access the necessary training.
With the goal of accompanying vulnerable individuals towards employment, the association has 13 establishments that promote autonomy through transitional work activities. The integration activities within Croix-Rouge Insertion include:
- Logistics and transportation, through 8 storage platforms in France and over 15,000 m² of warehouse space.
- Recycling, with 10 100% circular, local, and solidarity-based stores.
- Business and community services, with activities in the fields of healthcare, customer service, and mediation.
- Local activities that meet the needs of territories by offering useful products and services that enable the inclusion of all in a sustainable economy: organic farming, maintenance of green and natural spaces.
All these activities are developed with a special focus on environmental and social responsibility: reducing carbon footprint in transportation, choosing partners, promoting short supply chain logic, among others.
Technical details & Operations
As part of its support activities for integration, Croix-Rouge Insertion created “Les Ateliers Croix-Rouge” in 2021, motivated by two observations: the difficulty of reusing all furniture and textiles donated to the resource network and the real skills of some employees in textile manufacturing and furniture making using pieces from old furniture/clothing. Employees in training are responsible for the production of these items. The recycling establishments are working to expand sales through a network of retail outlets in France and online. Additionally, they provide training to new employees in sales, repair, and waste management professions.
In 2021, Croix-Rouge Insertion created Vif! Transport & Logistique, a subsidiary specialized in logistics for social and humanitarian action. Vif! also offers local logistics services, particularly in the areas of food logistics and moving. With a team of 40 employees in integration programs and 15 permanent employees, they operate a 3000 m2 warehouse in Pantin, with relays in other Croix-Rouge Insertion establishments in Seine-et-Marne, Marseille, and near Angoulême, Rouen, and Pau. They anticipate rapid growth in business and staff, supported by the Inclusion Development Fund, by establishing a road transport network to promote integration in the transportation industry, with an environmental responsibility perspective.
Croix-Rouge Insertion’s Utilities and Large Enterprises Services sector includes various activities aimed at providing services to major clients. These activities focus on interpersonal skills and encompass unconventional professions in the IAE (Insertion through Economic Activity) sector. Clients and partners have high expectations regarding the professionalism of our teams and mission reporting. Therefore, there are several areas in which we work together.
Local activities such as green space maintenance and organic farming are essential within Croix-Rouge Insertion. They have a strong social and environmental impact by providing reintegration opportunities for individuals distant from employment, developing practical skills, preserving the environment, and promoting the creation of sustainable jobs. Green space maintenance contributes to the preservation of the local environment, the valorization of natural heritage, and the improvement of community quality of life. Organic farming promotes sustainable agricultural practices that respect the environment and consumer health.
Deployment & Impact
Croix-Rouge Insertion operates through its 13 establishments, offering fixed-term integration contracts (CDDi) to vulnerable individuals. In 2022, alongside the volunteer network of the French Red Cross, Croix-Rouge Insertion teams were mobilized to support and provide snacks for the reception of Ukrainian refugees at train stations, as well as installation aid kits. They also shipped thousands of food kits, hygiene kits, and first aid training mannequins to Kyiv.
In 2022, Croix-Rouge Insertion achieved the following:
– 139 permanent employees
– Over 1,200 individuals supported (number of employees in integration who spent all or part of the year on one of the projects)
– 55% successful outcomes (transition to employment or training)
– Average duration of integration program: 14 months