Date: 2013 Funds: ESF Amount of co-financing UE: 78 104 € Alsace


Themes: The European next door ; Employment and social inclusion ; Training
Beneficiary: Alsace regional arts and crafts federation

découpage france alsace-lorraine

Founded in 1996 to assure the general public of quality work, the Alsace regional arts and crafts federation (FREMAA) currently features 172 arts and crafts professionals whose activity involves extensive and guaranteed expertise the context of small-scale, or "hand-made" production, i.e. the creation or restoration of single elements or small batches, resulting in significant cultural added value.

Having enhanced its expertise over the past 18 years, FREMAA has become more than just an association. Its certification, awarded after a careful review of applications, guarantees the authenticity of the elements exhibited as part of cultural events, and the quality of its members' expertise.

FREMAA aims to accomplish various objectives:

  • promoting and supporting the economic development of Alsace's arts and crafts professionals;
  • raising public awareness, in particular the younger generations, of arts and crafts and the vocational opportunities they offer;
  • implementing sustainable development projects based on arts and crafts within the regions;
  • assisting the local authorities engaged in a heritage promotion policy focused on arts and crafts;
  • participation in national and European networks to reinforce their expertise.

The objective of this project is to preserve superior expertise by passing it on to the younger generations and training artisans. This expertise, which enriches the regional, if not national heritage, is in danger of being lost or disregarded due to lack of funding.

Thanks to the European social fund (ESF), FREMAA was able to implement an innovative programme, based on the following principle: an artisan recognised by the federation trains a full-time apprentice within his/her workshop (for one year, renewable once).

Who are the potential beneficiaries? People wishing to specialise in a rare or disappearing domain, more specifically those keen to create their own business or eventually join a workshop. Approved trainees are essentially job seekers from the region. While they are being trained in workshops, these students also attend a course at the Strasbourg Higher college of decorative arts, which allows them to acquire knowledge of art history, communication and entrepreneurship.

The European funds contributed more than €78,000 to this programme designed to pass on rare and superior expertise and help young trainees get a foothold in the labour market.  6 training sessions were organised between 2007 and 2014, involving 44 trainees.

Since 2006, the different sessions of the programme co-funded by the European Union have contributed to the transmission of twenty different crafts, such as lava enameller, copperplate engraver, cabinet maker, milliner-weaver, restorer, sheet metal worker, fan restorer, fan maker, wind instrument maker, fresco painter, artisan bookbinder, artisan metal worker, shoemaker, glass and stained glass maker, artisan knife maker-blacksmith, wood gilder, stove fitter-ceramist, bell maker; costume maker, dressmaker, lacquerer, stone carver, silk screen printer, fine leather craftsman, etc. 

 Upon completion of their training, 52% of apprentices created their own business, while 11.5% took over that of their instructor and 29.5% became salaried employees. The remaining 7% are still looking for a job or have joined a company outside the arts and crafts world. It should be noted that the programme has helped preserve jobs in traditional and historical sectors, thereby contributing to Alsace's economic and tourist attractiveness.

Additional information

  • Duration:
  • Total cost: 226 404 €


Marianne PETIARD
Project manager, in charge of the programme for the transmission of rare and superior expertise

We combat the disappearance of the crafts which are part of France's intangible heritage.

  • Key numbers
    • 10 job seekers trained every year
    • 52% of apprentices created their own business
    • 60% of trainees created their business