Les ateliers de Fitilieu, a pilot training site | Hermes

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Les Ateliers de Fitilieu :
a pilot training site

In keeping with the Disability Agreement signed by Hermès in 2017, accessibility to the profession of saddler-leatherworker has been central to the design of the Ateliers de Fitilieu, inaugurated in June 2019.
The artisans at Hermès benefit from lifelong training. Testament to this are the saddler-leatherworkers who teach leatherwork techniques within the new Hermès training centre, located in Abrets en Dauphiné in northern Isère. Some have even chosen to take up classes in something rather unusual in their profession: they are studying sign language, which takes four years to learn fully.
Why? To make it easier to communicate with hearing-impaired students, so that they are welcomed in the same way as all the other talent passing through the centre before joining one of the three manufactures in the Savoie-Dauphiné cluster (Abrets en Dauphiné in Isère, Belley in Ain and Aix-les-Bains in Haute-Savoie).
This initiative illustrates Hermès’ commitment to devising pilot programmes for training people with disabilities in their in-house school. The goal is to gradually develop customised education programmes to make it easier for people with specific disorders such ‘dys’ learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysorthographia, etc.), for example, to access learning.
The new building has also been designed to make it easier for students with reduced mobility to access and move around it, above and beyond the relevant legal requirements.
In addition to their training in communicating with hearing-impaired people, delivered by Urapeda, all the tutors on site have received awareness training from JLO Conseil in different visible and invisible disabilities.
To identify candidates, the Ateliers de Fitilieu is working in partnership with local groups, with Ohé Prométhée, an organisation supporting the employment of people with disabilities in mainstream jobs, and with the Groupement d’employeurs travailleurs handicapés (GETH), which supports the employers of disabled workers.
This is a move towards increased diversity for the Ateliers, which aim to provide initial and further training for 80 people a year, at a time when the Savoie-Dauphiné leather goods cluster is expanding its workforce. Employee numbers are expected to increase from 750 at the end of 2018 to 850 in the next three to four years.


Discover more

  • The leather school: passing on values and skills

    A joint training programme supports Hermès’ development in leather goods. It provides a link between the many artisan specialisations and the leather goods workshops located all over France. 
  • Tandem,
    a decade of open-mindedness

    In late 2008, an artisan from the leather workshop in Sayat laid down his tools in Puy-de-Dôme to spend a week behind a counter with a sales associate at the faubourg Saint-Honoré store in Paris. It was the start of the Tandem exchanges. Bringing these two worlds together is not simply a matter of distance.
  • Dexterity,
    the trade secret of talent

    Agile fingers dance with tools for cutting and table work in the leather workshops. Hermès welcomes diversity in backgrounds and ages. Here, dexterity, tested with the French Pôle emploi (Job Centre) prevails over initial training. This, along with respect for time, is the main secret of crafting objects.

Our imprint on...

  • Les femmes et les hommes

    Hermès employs 15417 men and women, including 5200 craftspeople, who form the first métier of the house. This land of hand changes and hires nonstop. To train, pass on, develop, ensure well-being, health and solidarity… Our ambition is to stimulate the personal growth of everyone involved.
  • The Planet

    Hermès endeavors to exalt, in twenty or so métiers, the most beautiful materials offered by nature. Our artisans’ skillful hands respect leather, silk, fabric, wood, crystal and precious metals. To preserve, optimize, revalue and draw… Our duty is to achieve the sustainable use of these resources.
  • The communities

    Hermès owns 43 of its 55 manufactures in France and more than 300 stores around the world. Our proximity with suppliers, partners and territories is cultivated in the field. To fertilize, mesh, renovate and be committed… Our role, as an environment-friendly company, is to build sustainable ties.