Assises des Ehpad: how to recruit 350,000 people?



The title of the debate resembles a cry from the heart: “Pity, come and work with us”. The round table bearing this title will be one of the highlights of the Assises des Ehpad, organized on September 7 and 8, at La Maison de la Chimie, in Paris. The appeal, if it is intended to be ironic, is nonetheless well founded.

By 2025, to respond to the aging of the French population, more than 1.4 million people will need support within an adapted structure or at home, estimate professionals in the elderly sector. Problem, the sector is already lacking in arms at the present time. So how do you recruit the 350,000 people needed in the future?

Commitment jobs, but with low recruitment

Caregivers, nurses, home assistants… The professions of old age are jobs of commitment with a strong social utility. Assets at a time when many employees are looking for a job with “meaning”. But their attractiveness “Is too low”, we deplore the office of Brigitte Bourguignon, Minister Delegate in charge of autonomy, whose teams launched, Monday, September 6, a campaign to arouse vocations. Aimed primarily at young people aged 15 to 24 looking for training and job seekers, qualified or retraining, aged 25 to 49, it will be broadcast 100% digitally, on the media most used by these targets. (YouTube, Facebook, television channel replay platforms, etc.) and should last three weeks.

The obstacles to recruitment are well known. First of all, “The lack of knowledge of the outlets offered by the old age sector” ensures the ministry. Especially the “Image deficit from which these professions suffer”. “Of course, we do care and bonding professions, which should be rewarding. But talk about a profession of old age and you will be told the arduousness of the tasks and low wages ”, summarizes Agathe (the first name has been changed), a nursing assistant in the Grand Est. A bad image that has not helped the health crisis and its heavy impact on institutions for the elderly. And that a communication campaign alone will not change.

Wages reassessed and working conditions to be reviewed

Hence the mobilization of the sector. “The question of salaries has already been answered, via the Ségur de la Santé and its salary increases ”, wants to believe the Ministry of autonomy. Sufficient ? Far from it. “We must improve our working conditions”, insists Agathe who points out the extended hours, and paradoxically, the patients whose ” dispatch “ the toilet, lack of time, or the frequency of work accidents …

→ READ. Covid-19: three quarters of nursing homes were affected by the epidemic in 2020

In ministerial jargon, this is called the “Claims”. Here again, the ministry ensures that work is underway at the level of the ARS (Regional Health Agency) to promote a better quality of professional life for agents, by “New modes of organization, managerial training for team management” or an investment of more than 120 million euros for the purchase and renovation of care equipment and materials to make everyday life easier.

To attract new candidates, you still need the right training. Upstream, the various professionals therefore call for making the courses leading to the professions of old age more readable and accessible. Korian, whose human resources director, Nadège Plou, will participate in the nursing homes, has for example set up a link with Monoprix, which offers courses to become a nursing assistant, in the event of a retraining wish. The company also works in collaboration with local missions responsible for placing young people on the job market. “The learning and validation of acquired through experience are also intended to be accentuated”, provides the ministry which wants to recall that in addition to the posts of care, the professions of the old age also include positions in the professions of mouth or digital education.

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