• The Compagnons du devoir have always been renowned for their excellent training in manual trades.
  • The workers' association is based on strong values based on community life, generosity and discipline.
  • The forty houses of the Compagnons du devoir open their doors this weekend throughout France.

At 29 years old, he has already done well, settling in Angoulême, Tours, Mulhouse and Lille before landing in Rennes a few months ago. More enduring than a cyclist, Andy Lafenetre has now been involved in a Tour de France for six years. A must for this journeyman who, after having been an apprentice and then an aspirant, now manages the house of the Compagnons du devoir of Rennes as provost. In this place, which opens its doors to the public this Saturday as everywhere in France, Andy Lafenetre supervises 300 young people who come to train in crafts, construction or industrial technologies. Among them, 75 young people live year-round on the site, sharing classes, meals, evenings and weekends with their fellow trainees.

📅 Mark your calendars!

On March 11, the Compagnons du Devoir open the doors of their homes everywhere in France!
Trainers and work-study students will present more than 30 professions, and the training that leads to them.

👉For more information: https://t.co/DntNCofeUl pic.twitter.com/bmmrppJTzc

— Compagnons du Devoir (@les_compagnons) February 14, 2023

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This is the case of Marine, 21 years old. After obtaining a CAP carpentry manufacturer in La Rochelle, the young woman has been following a installer-installer training since September in order to obtain a professional certificate. Having become an aspiring companion after an adoption ceremony, "Béarnaise", her surname in reference to her region of origin, will then leave to perfect her skills in the four corners of the France by changing cities and companies every year. "It's not easy every day because you're away from your family and friends," she admits. But it's exciting from a professional point of view because we continue to train constantly it opens up a lot of opportunities. And we also enrich ourselves personally because the Companions of Duty is above all a state of mind. »

An association that cultivates its traditions and secrets

Renowned for the excellence of its training in manual trades, the workers' association, which was officially created in 1941, cultivates its traditions and secrets. A part of mystery that has sometimes earned it to be compared to a sect or a religious movement. "It's true that we cultivated this taste for secrecy for a long time," says Andy Lafenetre. But we are now opening up more and more. »

As in any initiatory society, the Companions of Duty have their own rules. Or rather values that every companion must integrate. "Fraternity, generosity, community life, discipline and patience," sums up Andy Lafenetre. An executive that did not frighten Margot, 19 years old. "On the contrary, I appreciate this fraternity that exists between companions, we exchange a lot between us, it's a bit like a family," says the young Lille, apprentice in masonry after a first training as a pedo-orthotist.

Nearly 11,000 young people trained each year

In addition to know-how, we also come to the Compagnons to look for a know-how. "It's a way for young people to discover and flourish," says Andy Lafenetre. When I arrived at the start, I was shy and withdrawn. I have since learned to reach out to others. »

At the Companions, however, not everyone aspires to complete a Tour de France and be adopted by the community. Many young people come only to follow a training before leaving for the classic life. Last year, about 11,000 students learned a trade with the Companions, which has about forty houses throughout the France. "We have doubled our workforce compared to 2015 but we are now looking to stagnate," says Andy Lafenetre.

  • Society
  • Formation
  • Learning
  • Handicraft
  • Trades
  • Rennes
  • Brittany