Awards for young French professionals working in South Africa
On Monday 16 October 2017, Ambassador of France in South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, hosted a special award ceremony for young French professionals present in South Africa.
These young professionals work under a special two-year contract called Volontariat International (French International Postgraduate Internship Programme).
This alternative work contract is open to young French people seeking a high-quality mission within a French company or administration abroad. For the host structure, it is a good way to attract long term affiliates who will share their skills and experiences with South African workers.
The awards evening, which took place at the French Residence in Pretoria, was organised by the French External Trade Advisors, the French Regional Economic Department, the French Trade Commission Business France, the Club V.I.E. South Africa, the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FSACCI) and the Embassy of France in South Africa.
Several South African governmental entities, including the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Science and Technology, attended the ceremony.
The aim of the event was three-fold:
- Firstly to celebrate the talents and achievements of V.I.Es and V.I.As in South Africa.
- Secondly, to raise awareness about the V.I.E program and highlight its significance.
- Thirdly, the event aims to demonstrate France’s pride in contributing to the professional training of young French citizens.
It is also a way to underline the mutually beneficial relationship that exists between South Africa and France in various fields: from trade and investment to scientific cooperation and training and innovation.
The event also highlighted the benefits South African graduates had by working with V.I.E. professionals. Testimonies by two South Africans, Damien Lopez and Vernon Johannes, were presented during the event.
Currently, there are 77 international volunteers working in South Africa, spread over 50 structures (French companies and administration).
Winners in each category:
- The Grand Prix: Philippine Wallart of Faurecia
- Integration and training award: Alexis Rigaud of Pernod Ricard
- Innovation award: Antoine Petit of Faurecia
- Entrepreneurship award: Julien Allard of imed
- Bilateral cooperation award: Paul Raso of the Regional Economic Department of the Embassy of France in South Africa