Since 2006, NQT (“Nos Quartiers ont des Talents” or “Our neighborhoods have talent”) has been setting up professional sponsorship programs aimed at promoting work opportunities, mentoring and network sharing between professionals and recent graduates who are finding it hard to enter the job market.
Gymglish partner since 2008, Sidonie Dogboé, Project Manager for NQT, reflects upon the organization’s adventure so far.
Hello Sidonie! Could you tell us more about NQT’s early years?
Yazid Chir and Raynald Rimbaud first met in 2005. At the time, Yazid was an entrepreneur and President of MEDEF 93 Ouest (a national confederation of French employers) and Raynald was the Managing Director of the MEDEF head office. Both were disconcerted by the gap between young graduates in Saint-Denis looking for jobs, and the lack of hiring by local businesses. That’s when they decided to collaborate and create NQT, an organization dedicated to (re)connecting the two worlds.
A sponsorship system, in which job candidates are recommended to local companies by sponsors, has been at the heart of our project from the start. The first tests were conducted with 200 young graduates and 30 sponsors. We were encouraged by the positive results and decided to open satellite offices across France.
What is the aim of your organization?
We set up meetings between experienced executives and recent graduates looking for their first job. Our graduates are aged 30 and under, hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and come from priority neighborhoods, rural regeneration areas and/or come from modest backgrounds.
In practical terms, we put professionals in touch with graduates based on their career ambitions. If the professional shares the same interests as our graduate, we make sure they meet, develop a network and engage in business role play. Tangible actions like these enable young, ambitious and qualified graduates to enter the labor market faster. They give each and every one of them equal opportunities to secure a permanent and qualified job.
What motivates the sponsors who join the organization?
Their motivation mostly lies in passing the baton to future generations. Some of the staff and management of these companies had trouble entering the labor market themselves, and now want to support young professionals. Aside from that, the program works! It’s an effective recruiting tool for companies. Over the past 13 years, we’ve worked with 48,000 young graduates and 12,000 sponsors.
Some key figures: 87% of our graduates are hired after having been sponsored (source: Kimso study, 2018). 97% of sponsors feel more qualified and empowered thanks to NQT and 70% of them have acquired skills like teaching and active listening. On average, sponsors stay in the with the NQT organization for 9 years.
Gymglish is also a partner of NQT – are language courses popular among your graduates?
Since 2008, Gymglish has been offering free online English and French spelling courses to our young graduates. In total, more than 11,000 students have received a free Gymglish or Frantastique Ortho license. We’re pleased to see high engagement rates among our graduates, and we know the adaptive learning method is useful because levels are quite diverse between learners. Young people entering the job market know that they may have trouble securing a new role if their English language skills or French spelling isn’t up to standard.
NQT is part of Gymglish’s Social Impact program, aimed at supporting actors in the field of education and integration by offering training at no cost. If you’re interested in the program, contact us via email@example.com.