The CoM Point withstanding the health crisis:
The CoM Point is a programme which has been provided by FOREM for several years. Its purpose is to contribute to the development of the socio-economic knowledge of FOREM's employees through the enhancement of their professional and sectoral expertise. The organisation of the CoM Points is coordinated by the FOREM Academy, whose mission is to develop the skills and knowledge of our 4,800 or so employees, as well as to support institutional changes and business line evolutions. By participating in a CoM Point, counsellors and trainers are informed about the evolution of key professions on the employment and training market, but they also have a space for exchanges and meetings between colleagues, which gives meaning to their counselling mission and the desire to fulfil it with enthusiasm.
The CoM Points revolve on 3 key questions:
1.What is the targeted trade/sector and what is the existing training offer?
2.What are the companies’ requirements and the available workforce characteristics?
3.How can this occupational knowledge be applied in the daily practice of the counsellor or trainer? How can this expertise be an essential asset in his/her work or that of his/her colleagues, and therefore enable him/her to ensure better service to the client?
To address these issues, various active pedagogical measures are implemented (brainstorming workshops, debates, exchanges of practices and visits to training centres). Wherever possible, sectoral collaboration is fostered to provide a concrete vision of trades/functions. Most often, this takes the form of visits to companies or skills centres, or HR managers' testimonials from participating companies.
The CoM Point is then an excellent reflective practice tool for counsellors and trainers.
Even if, over time, the ambition has always been to develop the system by integrating various pedagogical approaches to make the concept more attractive and accessible to the public, the health crisis has triggered a reflection leading us to fundamentally adapt the organisation of a CoM Point. While only a few months ago we still considered that a CoM Point session was by definition a meeting event that had to take place " on the spot ", we quickly had to make a fundamental choice: either everything stops and we thus deprive our target audience of the crucial objective its developing business & sector knowledge, or we choose to rethink our practices by proposing an alternative to the face-to-face system.
The Académie Forem decided to explore various possibilities to adapt its service offer, both for training and for knowledge sharing, therefore second option was finally chosen and implemented.
Thus, the " online " version of the Point CoM was successfully launched, as we have been able to test four remote Point CoM sessions in June with two of our sectoral partners: the food industry and the road sector. Other sessions involving other sectors will also be developed in the second part of the year.
In practice, the “scenario” unfolds in three phases:
1-Before the CoM Point event: various resources are made available to the participants to enable them to learn more about the jobs in the sector and, at the same time, to allow them to compile the questions they wish to address and deepen during an online Teams session with the various experts.
2-During the CoM Point event: which lasts half a day and is held via the Teams platform, participants are given the opportunity to attend different key moments: presentation of our sectoral partner with a questions and answers section, presentation of our training offer with a special focus on soft skills, also known as behavioural skills, possible testimonial from a company's HR manager on the main recruitment aspects, etc.
3-After the CoM Point event: the participants have various means at their disposal to continue to deepen their knowledge of the business lines thanks to resources highlighted by the experts.
III-Perspectives for the future:
Our desire is to capitalise on the opportunity provided by the health crisis to reinvent ourselves. The success of the online organisation of our Point CoMs confirms our willingness to maintain remote sessions in the future, because in doing so, a positive response is provided to major issues : the mobilisation of employees working in more distant territories, the possibility of involving a larger number of people, the effectiveness of limiting the action to half a day without renouncing the qualitative aspect.. In other words: this online version merely enhances the programme in these different pedagogical approaches by making the Academy's service offer evolve towards a multimodal (blended) format which satisfies everyone’s expectations.
IV-External recognition: Good practice
The Point CoM programme has been recognised since 2018 by the network of European Public Employment Services as an example of good practice. In this respect, the FOREM Academy was contacted in April 2019 by the ENA in Strasbourg (a French school training senior civil servants) as part of a collective project assigned to 7 students from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA- National Administration School). These students have been mandated by the Strategy Department of Pôle Emploi, the main public employment service provider in France, to promote the networking of counsellors' skills for the benefit of job seekers and companies. The aim of these students is to draw up a report that will provide operational proposals to rapidly enrich the French public service' practices.
To learn more about FOREM's roles and missions, please click on this link.
Demba SY: Expert in human resources management at Forem Academy.