Zero long-termed unemployed territory experiment in Échirolles – France

The Zero Long-Termed Unemployed Territory (TZCLD) is an experiment which started a few years ago, and whose idea consists in erasing long time unemployment by transferring its costs to social and local innovations. In France, long term unemployment concerns more than 2,8 million of people (it is defined as people being without a job for more than one year.).
The city of Échirolles, France, (Echirolles Ouest) is preparing its application to join this initiative.

The philosophy:
The general philosophy of the TZCLD project is to affirm that no one is unemployable and that by subsidizing the resumption of employment, the State will save both in social benefits and in indirect costs of unemployment. Rather than starting from existing job offers and finding the corresponding workforce, the project proposes to identify the needs and shortages in the involved area, as well as the skills and desires of unemployed people.

This experimentation is based on three observations that allow to believe that it is humanly and economically possible to eliminate long-term unemployment at the territorial level

1/ No one is unemployable, 
All those who are permanently unemployed have know-how and skills. 

2/ There is no shortage of work,
But shortage of jobs, lots of needs are not being fulfilled. 

3/ There is no lack of money, 
Since every year long-term unemployment leads to numerous expenses.

The objective:
The objective is to propose to all long-term unemployed volunteers, who have been present in the territory for more than 6 months, a permanent contract, adapted to their skills.

The principle: 
These additional jobs are financed by redirecting the costs of the hardship of employment towards this new and local labor market. The principle is simple: create or lean on companies of the social sector (Entreprises à but d’emploi – EBE) to create permanent employment contracts paid in the guaranteed minimum wage.

The prerequisite: 
The idea is to respond to unmet local needs, and not to replace existing jobs, relying on the know-how and the initiative capacity of job seekers, promoting local economic development and cooperation, without competing with local businesses.

Échirolles Ouest’s application
Since spring 2019 , the collective “Territoire Zéro Chômeur de Longue Durée”, Grenoble Alpes Métropole, the city of Échirolles (Isère, France) and a group of unemployed people have been preparing Échirolles Ouest’s application for the “Territoire Zéro Chômeur de Longue Durée” experiment.

A new milestone has been reached with the creation of an association called SOLEEO (Solidarity for employment in Échirolles West), in anticipation of the project development. This association brings together the various stakeholders of the project, including local authorities, citizens, inhabitants and unemployed people of Echirolles Ouest, employment partners and the SIAE (Structures d’Insertion par l’Activité Économique), local associations and some local companies…

This first step will allow to get premises and to modelize future activities, in order to be ready to start as soon as the territory will get its accreditation.

The coming months will be decisive. The application will be submitted during the summer of 2021.