The Ambassador of France in South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, hosted a special award ceremony for young French professionals working in South Africa. The event, which took place on Monday 16th October 2017 at the French Residence in Pretoria, was organized 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.
These young professionals work in South Africa under a special two-year contract called Volontariat International (French International Postgraduate Internship Programme). These alternative work contracts are open to young French people seeking a high-quality mission within a French company or administration abroad. For the host organisation, it is a good opportunity to attract long-term affiliates who will share their skills and experiences with South African workers.
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, were in attendance at the ceremony.
Bolloré Logistics South Africa, platinum member of the FSACCI, sponsored the Grand Prix category and Koen Rombouts, country Managing Director, was proud to award the winner, a young professional of Faurecia Group, with the grand prize of €1500.
The event has three aims that are to firstly, celebrate the talents and achievements of V.I.E's in South Africa, secondly, to raise awareness about the Volunteering for International Experience (V.I.E) programme and highlight its significance and lastly, 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.
Two South Africans, who were present at the event, highlighted in a testimony the benefits South African graduates had by working with V.I.E professionals.