Episode II.2 – Ecoasis – 7.11.2017

3Jan - by Mihai Deac - 0 - In Episodes/Stories France Trainings

Location: Grealou (Figeac area), France

Participants: same as before (episode II.1)


Ecoasis is what the French call a gite d’etape, 16 km south-west of Figeac. It offers accommodation to backpackers, most of whom are pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela, on foot. As the name states, it is mostly reliant on green, eco resources, from building materials to energy. It also offers some of the best food around, cooked with fresh local ingredients. There is also a strict policy here about not wasting resources, clearly seen in the eco, waterless lavatory. The business is owned and ran by Audrey and Manu Sailly, who benefit from a lot of international experience as chefs and hospitality employees. They were helped by the local community and the Local Action Group in the region, who contributed with grants. Surrounded by nature, it is truly an oasis of tranquility.

Ecoasis served as location for a workshop on Anticipating the skills needs of the territory: the experience of the Pays de Figeac and its actors. The following presentations were made:

  • Figeac Territory and Territorial Management of Jobs and Skills in the Pays de Figeac – Giang Pham

It is during this presentation that we learned a lot about the territorial profile of the area of Figeac, afflicted by some of the same problems that most partners face as well. The shortage of trained human resource in the area, in the context of problematic demographics, with rural areas around Figeac constantly losing population, was an issue that stood out.

  • A presentation of the Mecanic Vallee Cluster – Herve Danton (see below)

Mecanic Vallee (Mechanic Valley) is a huge industrial business cluster, by any standard. It comprises around 200 enterprises and has the capacity to employ 12.800 people. Faced with the tough demographic tendencies, the cluster still manages to constantly supply the industry in the region with skilled employees.

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  • FIG’ACTEURS presentation – Meryl Parisse

In the discussions that the presentation started, we came to the conclusion that employment in the region is a complex discussion, that includes the problem of making the territory attractive, not only in terms of jobs, but also in terms of access to entertainment, public services, education, culture etc.

  • Discussions with Audrey and Manu Sailly, owners of Ecoasis, who gave us precious insights into the life of the territory

A first-hand look at the entrepreneurs in the territory and their daily activity. We understand how finding reliable, long-term employees with soft skills (such as foreign languages) can be problematic for Ecoasis. However, there is support and vision within the community and the local authorities.


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