Bringing together 170 not-for-profit associations active across France, L’Outil en Main seeks to highlight the value of craftsmanship by introducing hundreds of children and teenagers aged 9 to 14 to artisan trades each year.
In towns and villages throughout France, local associations organise weekly after-school workshops overseen by craftspeople. In 2017, almost 2,800 young people benefited from these workshops under the guidance of hundreds of volunteers.
The associations that make up L’Outil en Main promote a wide variety of trades, from metalwork to leather and textile work, and from building to landscaping and environmental professions. Tilers, carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, mosaic artists and plumbers volunteer to share their skills, many of which are anchored in local traditions.
The young people who participate in the weekly workshops get to grips with techniques and tools, and discover the meaning of manual gestures by putting them into practice. Beyond the pleasure of working with materials and uncovering hidden talents, these workshops can also offer young people the chance to take their first steps towards a career as an artisan. The intergenerational encounters and exchanges that they promote also encourage the sharing of values.