The fast-growing world of luxury is channeling its energies to find new talent for the craft: events, dedicated websites, in-house training institutes – all in the name of recruiting.

    For the second year in a row, Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of the prestigious French jewelery house Van Cleef & Arpels, is traveling to Lyon in person. Lyon is the historic heart of jewelery making in France, and here Bos will inform the young public about the many opportunities offered by crafts as part of a promotion organized at the beginning of December called ‘De Mains en mains’ (‘From hand to hand’). . The students of a high school in Vénissieux meet a draftsman, a polisher, a jeweler and a CAD expert, who each explain and openly about their career and everyday life Talk about pay and prospects. The message is: skilled trades not only offer prospects, but contrary to popular belief, are also fulfilling.

    The efforts of the Parisian luxury house keep up with the new challenges. Since the entire production is located in France, it must be ensured that the know-how for the manufacture of the excellent products is passed on. However, the new generations do not spontaneously choose these professions out of ignorance, lack of interest or lack of understanding. Wrongly so, because French luxury, supported by dynamic large corporations and houses that sell all over the world, is doing better than ever: the studios are working at full speed again after a large part of production had migrated in the 90s.

    This statement applies not only to the jewelry industry, but to the entire luxury goods industry. The tension can be felt in many places, both in embroidery and in feather and shoemaking, as well as in leather goods production. According to the Comité Colbert, which brings together 92 French luxury houses, the situation is alarming. “Before Covid, 10,000 jobs remained unfilled every year. Today, it is estimated that 20,000 vacancies cannot be filled,” Bénédicte Epinay, Delegate General of the Colbert Committee, told the magazine capital. Job vacancies are likely to grow even further as the luxury sector is expected to grow 21 percent by the end of the year.

    Each house takes on the issue by taking initiatives. At the end of November, the LVMH group exhibited its craftsmanship at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, through the Institut des Métiers d’Excellence (a structure that brings together the houses of the group and partner schools such as the Ecole Boulle or Ferrandi), to the widest and most diverse audience possible for one of the 280 crafting professions required in the group – from cooking to leather goods making, from tailoring to viticulture, from jewelry making to perfume making. A real challenge given that only eight percent of young people choose the path of craft, as Chantal Gaemperle, director of human resources and synergies of the LVMH group, told the specialist magazine Quotidien de la Formation stressed.

    training and retraining

    These initiatives by the EWI are combined with further steps taken directly by the brands. Like Valentino, Louis Vuitton has set up a special website listing all vacancies. Not surprisingly, these roles also include roles that come with exceptional know-how. This appeals to young people in their initial training, but also to people who are new to the company. LVMH recruited Tony Parker, ambassador of the Professions of Excellence initiative, to organize a tour called You&ME, which led to the signing of 1200 apprenticeship and professional contracts in five French cities: Paris, Valence, Orléans, Clichy-sous-Bois, reims In addition to the initial training, the large luxury houses are strongly committed to the lifelong training and further education of their employees. Cartier has had its own institute in Paris for 20 years, covering internal training needs.

    This article was similarly published on Translation and editing: Barbara Russ