Replay
The Sound Kitchen
Raksha Bandhan
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/24 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/24 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/24 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/24 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 08/21 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 08/21 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/24 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/24 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 08/21 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 08/24 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 08/21 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/24 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 08/21 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
France

Training school for concierges opens for business in Paris

media Junior Housing Minister Benoit Apparu Reuters/Benoît Tessier

A new training school for concierges opened its doors on Thursday in Paris.

Thirty years ago on the ground floor of almost every apartment block in France, there lived a middle-aged lady, often of Portuguese origin, who kept the communal areas clean, looked after the mail, showed prospective tenants around flats available for rent, fed your cat while you were on holiday and probably gossiped a fair bit too.

But over the years many apartment-dwellers have chosen not to replace a retiring concierge, but instead to opt for a code system or videophone to regulate entry to their block - its cheaper and doesn’t gossip.

Housing minister Benoist Apparu is keen to change that and create jobs at the same time, and that’s why he is backing the creation of a new school which offers a 400-hour training course to applicants, with a guarantee of a job at the end.

Trainees at the Egérie school are paid by the unemployment office while they undergo their training, at 70 per cent of the minimum wage.

Loic Deschamps was attracted by the package but also by the idea of performing a useful social function. “It’s a job which is sometimes poorly-regarded, but concierges are totally in the service of others, and often play a role as the mediator between the owners of the apartment block and the tenants”.

They’re not called concierges anymore (the word itself has now come to denote a gossip!) so the more politically-correct “gardien” is preferred, and many, like Loïc, are male.

He’ll learn cleaning routines, first aid techniques, fire prevention rules and even how to use a defibrillator, skills which reflect a renewed emphasis on the social role of a concierge.

In the heatwave in the summer of 2003 when many old people died alone in their apartments, commentators noted that checking on older residents had long been an unofficial part of the role of concierge, but with fewer concierges there were many deaths.

Benoist Apparu regrets that there are now only 46,450 gardiens in France, a 23 per cent drop over the last ten years, despite a rise in the number of apartments.

And with 25 per cent due to retire between now and 2013, he has launched a publicity campaign to try to attract newcomers to a job whose image needs a radical boost.

 

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.