How can theater develop employability?

Article by Pôle Emploi

International crisis has not only impacted our daily lives and our ways of working, but it has also pushed all of us to rethink our social relationships, our relationship to work and remind us how innovation and creativity are important to keep moving forward. What link exists between the theater and labor market? Here is one of the questions we asked ourselves, at Pôle emploi Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes before joining the Master the Act project.

As the French public service employment, our first mission is to support job seekers and job facilitators in their professional investigations. Over the years, Pôle emploi has developed strategic partnerships with foreign organizations at the European and international level but also services dedicated to specific areas. Our specialized agency for the performing arts sector : Pôle emploi Scènes et Images allows our institution to connect both of our scope of actions: employment and specific art sectors. Indeed, we are aware of the challenge that the labor market is facing and our professionals are the first concerned and dedicated to improving the working environment. We believe that developing employability and soft skills through innovative methods are one of the key objectives of Pôle emploi.

As an expert in employment, our role is to stay up-to-date about the labor market evolutions, by keeping improving the work environment and reinforce the skills of job seekers as well as employees. Master The Act is, for us, a way to connect the labour market to the innovation world by providing a pioneering method through theater. Leadership, communication, teamwork, are key competences that are becoming more and more valued by recruiters and managers. These changes of thinking demonstrate evolutions in the labor market with a focus on soft skills instead of diploma or work experiences. It is important to point out that transversal competences such as empathy, communication or adaptation can be learned and trained for each of us. And theater can help us to acquire those abilities.

To set up these innovative training courses that will provide soft skills to job seekers as well as to professionals in the world of employment, Pole emploi ARA collaborates with theater professionals to strengthen its skills in terms of innovative practices. Thus, we will set up a “new profile” that will be mentioned as the Creative mentor for employability. In fact, like Romania for instance, in France, the professional figure of the “Creative Mentor” does not exist and it is not codified by national labor law. Indeed, our French creative mentor leads an important role in developing self-confidence, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, helping mentees to find the good position/ behavior and the good actions to take. The practice of theater allows the acquisition of skills and attitudes that are beginning to be valued on the labour market.

To reinforce our expertise all along the project, we have asked our counselors, careers advisors and culture professionals to fill out a questionnaire and give us feedback on the missions and competences of the mentor. Most of them affirm today that in order to bring innovation day by day in the theater field and employability sector, we should think of new ways of learning and practice more workshops such as role plays or improvisations.

Our french creative mentor leads an important role in developing self-confidence, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, helping mentees to find the good position/ behavior and the good actions to take. For this, the creative mentor needs a key competence : project management. The creative mentor should also deal with digital skills. It is very recommended to help the trainee to be at ease with the digital era we live in, especially during the covid-19 pandemic where digital skills are more than important to work and also to apply for a job. These technical skills would be a real improvement to guide job seekers through employment and help them to refine their soft skills as well as empowering them to feel comfortable.

The labor market is constantly evolving, and projects such as ‘Master the Act’ could provide many opportunities for people supported by Pôle emploi. The job seekers and the recruiters are always very motivated when it comes to developing self-confidence and strengthening soft-skills. By connecting employability to theater, we demonstrate that labor market will never stop to open-up to change and innovation.

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