EDF recalls the “crucial” issue of recruitment


The Civaux nuclear power plant (Vienna), March 19, 2024. STÉPHANE MAHÉ / REUTERS

EDF is recruiting. This is not a scoop, given the French electrician’s multiple challenges. But his announcement, Thursday May 23 at the end of the day, has the merit of clarifying the dynamic. As in 2023, the public group plans to recruit around 10,000 employees in France over the whole of 2024, compared to 6,400 in 2021 and 8,800 in 2022.

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These new permanent contracts are mainly intended to replace departures (around 60% of recruitment), but also for job creation (around 40%). According to Jérémy Houstraëte, employment director at EDF, the company is planning an even higher volume of recruitment in the country for ” the next years “. “The issue of skills is absolutely crucial for the success of our industrial project”he says.

Main challenge: nuclear power, whether to maintain the 57 existing reactors – including the Flamanville EPR (Manche), since mid-May, even before the start of its production – or to build others, such as the the government has been planning for 2022. Around 4,500 of the hires are intended for the atom sector for the current year.

Increase in the share of women

Renewable energies (hydraulic, solar, wind, etc.) will mobilize 1,000 other new employees; energy services (consumption control, electric mobility, heating networks, etc.), 3,000; finally, the electricity distribution networks, 1,500, for the Enedis subsidiary. The list does not include RTE, manager of high voltage lines, in which EDF nevertheless holds a small majority of the capital.

Nearly 15% of all new employees will come from a professional baccalaureate, according to company estimates. The majority of recruitments will rather be made either at bac + 2 or 3 level, or upon leaving engineering schools or universities.

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In reality, this positive balance of hiring confirms a trend. Mostly located in France, the group’s workforce grows from year to year, including abroad. They have already gone from 165,000 employees in total, at the end of 2020, to 179,000, at the end of 2023.

As with many industrial sectors, these workforces are still largely male. At EDF SA, its main entity (some 64,000 employees at the start of 2024), the group, however, notes an evolution: the share of women recruited has increased from 25% to 30% in two years.

“Retain talent”

In addition to the hiring, he also announced the reinforcement of 4,500 work-study students and 5,000 interns for the year 2024. Until now, around a third of work-study students are subsequently recruited, according to Jérémy Houstraëte.

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