Cooperative group Axereal launches “Discover” as a focus for its student community

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Discover, la communauté étudiante d'Axéréal
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Axereal has announced the official launch of Discover, its student community, to coincide with the beginning of the new academic year. With this launch, the group aims to engage the young generation in the ambitious transformation of the agricultural and food model it has initiated.

“Each year, we welcome more than 120 apprentices and interns to our group and our subsidiaries. Making sure they, like our permanent staff, get the most out of their time with us is a priority. We strongly believe they have an important role to play from the very first day of their training, and we make sure we give them concrete responsibilities through which they can make a difference. They, and the Erasmus students and VIE volunteers who will also be part of the community, bring with them new ideas and a fresh perspective. We want to put these to better use. Our sectors and the expectations of staff members are changing quickly, and this new generation has an important role to play in keeping Axereal moving forwards,” said Sophie Tuja, Group human resources and communications director.

The human resources and communications teams have been working together on Discover for over a year, with assistance from several apprentices. The pathway for young staff has been completely overhauled, from the recruitment stage right through to their daily routines in their workplaces, with a focus on openness, sharing and new experiences.

An integration pathway to encourage cross-functional communication

The student integration pathway has been completely reviewed and harmonised. The goal is to promote a 360° vision to encourage interaction between different sectors and job roles. 

“One of the highlights of the integration will be an in-person day organised for the whole community. Such a day already existed within the group before the Covid restrictions but we have decided to make it into a more ambitious event involving all the students and not just the new arrivals, to encourage them to network and share knowledge between them,” said Joan Vallet, Human resources and communications director, Agriculture & Processing Channels.  

Develop the collective spirit among apprentices

Alongside the launch of the Discover community, a common discussion forum shared by all the businesses is being set up on Yammer, the group’s internal community platform. It will be a space where students from all subsidiaries can interact, share their experiences and organise their own social events. In addition, several times a year Axereal will invite students to live talks with inspiring figures from inside and outside the group. 

“Because we work across so many different sectors and locations, the biggest challenge for us is to encourage these young staff to share their experiences beyond the networks that form organically within businesses and geographical locations. We want to encourage them to interact and find out more about what’s happening within the group,” said Quentin Paradowski, Group HR development manager.

Build loyalty, enhance perceptions and promote careers in the sector

With the attractiveness of agriculture and the food processing industry still a priority, Axereal group continues to work to raise awareness of the wide range of career opportunities offered by the cooperative and its subsidiaries, with the aim of encouraging young people and career changers to join its ranks as trainees.

“We have a long history of working to support our employer brand. But launching Discover has prompted us to think about exploring new avenues. Our interns and apprentices themselves are clearly great ambassadors for our sectors, and we want to give them more opportunities to talk about their successes, their ambitions and their convictions by providing them with new ways to communicate. In a flagship project marking the start of the new academic year, we are offering any interested apprenticeship students the opportunity to have their own blog on the website. This project is particularly important to us, because it gives the apprentices an opportunity to tell other young people, in their own words, what it is like to work at Axereal while studying and how they feel about their experiences,” said Chrystèle Ivins, Corporate communication director

The launch of Discover will be backed by a brand new strong and colourful visual identity to help Axereal group stand out at student fairs and in recruitment zones.