4 minutes

TV news program “20H”

Journalist-reporter : Valentine Patry
Cameraman : Morgan Doux
Editor : Julien Prat

October 2019

Unemployment affects 30% of the young people in metropolitan France but in the French territories overseas, the situation is by far more dramatic. 60 % of the young people aged under 25 are jobless on Reunion Island, a French department  located in the Indian Ocean. Jordan, Elodie and Paul, without high school diplomas and after years of being unemployed or doing odd jobs, have swapped their blue jeans for combat trousers. 

An adapted  military  service has been created especially by the French government to solve the unemployment of 18 to 25 year old French citizens living in the overseas departments. The project is financed by European and French funds. On Reunion Island, during a one–year training programme, 1200 young volunteers are learning  discipline, hard work and team spirit. After a month of military training, the recruits have to attend a remedial class (40% of them are illiterate) then, they are integrated into the training professional programme which will enable them to become car-body makers, waiters, electricians, activity leaders…. 82% of the recruits will find a job. « The purpose is not to make soldiers out of them (95 % will not enlist in the army). Rather it is a means of integrating them socially and professionally and a  way to compensate for the gap that exists between Europe and the French territories overseas that do not offer the same chances to  young people. » 

This is a report about the change brought to these young French people, banned from the working world and who are being put back on the track thanks to military service. 

– French version only –

«  I dropped out of school, I wasn’t doing anything. I’d wake up, eat,  go to sleep and this went on for months… then I made up my mind to do something with my life. This is my last chance »

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