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France, Île-de-France


The Skills Factory

Manufacto is a new programme from the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès: a skills factory aimed at raising young people’s awareness of opportunities in artisan trades. Beginning in late 2016, pilot classes will introduce participants to the world of artisanship, its raw materials, expertise, and the culture of the fine, hand-crafted object.

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Manufacto
© Benoit TEILLET

Reflecting our recognition of the need to introduce young people to skilled artisan trades, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès has teamed up with the Paris education authority, the Compagnons du devoir apprentice scheme, and the École Camondo (decorative arts) to devise a new, ad hoc programme. Manufacto offers a fresh approach to artisanship through an introduction to its skills and raw materials, for pupils aged 6 to 17. Launched in November 2016, the scheme provides an introduction to hand-working skills for 150 pupils in the Paris region and, ultimately, nationwide.

Each of six classes selected for the pilot will be mentored by an artisan, assisted by a design student from the École Camondo. Under their supervision, the pupils will create their own objects, and develop a sense of pride in their handiwork while learning the practical, creative gestures involved in fine wood- and leather-work. Manufacto combines an aesthetic introduction to the world of forms, with practical, hands-on experience of the transformation of fine, natural materials.

While each session is adapted to the participants’ age, all are designed to highlight the core values of artisanship – technical rigour, quality, teamwork – while promoting enhanced confidence and self-esteem.

Manufacto aims to find new talent, alter the perception of artisan careers and help pupils to discover new vocations and opportunities through practical, positive learning experiences. From artisanship to design, hand-working skills play a vital and fulfilling role at the heart of contemporary life.

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