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Apreva, a new path to insertion

Nouvelle-Aquitaine - Aiguillon
Inclusive mobility

With the creation of socially-supportive garages, Apreva fosters two-fold insertion. The association employs mechanics far from employment and rents repaired cars to people in need.



‘There is a solution to every problem,’ could be the motto of Bernard Deche, director and founder of Apreva, the Association pour la Réparation et l’Entretien de Véhicules Automobiles [association for the repair and maintenance of automobiles]. In 2010, while he was president of the Lot-et-Garonne Union Départmentale des Associations Intermédiaires [departmental union of intermediary associations], he learned that the ERDF group in the Aquitaine region no longer donated its used vehicles because of repair costs. He suggested creating a structure with a two-fold objective: integrate people with skills as mechanics and rent vehicles to people seeking integration that need to travel for professional projects.

Repairs and rentals

The idea became reality with the installation of a first garage in Aiguillon (47) and then a second a few months later in Lormont, in the suburbs of Bordeaux. In all, the association employs 12 people, including six with assisted labour contracts for renewable six-month periods. ‘This job gave me back a status, the resources to survive,’ Nicolas, an employee seeking integration at the Aiguillon garage, explains in all simplicity. After his contract ends, the young 31-year-old is thinking of studying for a certificate in mechanics to validate his skills. Every year, 120 cars are offered to Apreva as private donations. ‘We repair 100 of them, 40 of which are given to associations, and 60 enter our rental stock,’ says Bernard Deche. The success of the rental cars—300 to 400 people rent them every year—is based on the Relay Point system set up and managed by intermediary associations to allow beneficiaries to rent vehicles near their homes without having to stop by the garage. Rental fees range between €2.00 and €8.00 per day on an income-based sliding scale.

An exemplary model In order to support the opening of a second socially-supportive garage, the Fondation VINCI pour la Cité awarded a grant of €15,000 to co-finance equipment purchases. Abdennabi El Rhallouch, a workshop agent for the ASF network, sponsored the project. ‘We host the association’s employees in immersion internships lasting about 10 days in order to bring them progressively closer to the working world. We give them safety advice, one of our strengths. I pay more attention to attitude than to aptitude, because the employees are already trained in mechanics.’ The sponsor, who has joined Apreva’s board of directors, adds, ‘Because of my past, integration issues are something I care deeply about. So, when I can help, I do it without hesitation.’ Apreva is full of plans for the end of the year, and wants to become a federation so that other socially-supportive garages open in the area. It would also like to buy vehicles from dealerships to resell at low cost under warranty. ‘We would sell cars for €800 or €900,’ estimates Bernard Deche. ‘We are also working to set up micro-lending.’ The association is continuing to develop its panoply of solutions so that mobility issues no longer hold people back from finding employment.

April 2014 © Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

VINCI Foundation works with Reporters d'Espoirs, a French news agency, to highlight and share the innovative social initiatives that it supports. The arrangement includes the writing of articles and exchange on topics that lead to solutions. Thus presented, the initiatives, validated using the criteria of the editorial charter of Reporters d'Espoirs, are intended to demonstrate their development and results.