In the context of Caravan de l’emploi, a programme of Mouvement des entreprises de France – MEDEF Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes aimed at promoting the employability of young Europeans aged from 16 to 25 years of age, a webinar dedicated to the employability and promotion of working opportunities in the wood, furniture and design sectors was organized on October 12th. 

The virtual event allowed the representatives of companies and associations (HASAP Agencement, La Fabrique and FIBOIS), national employment agency (Pole Emploi) and training centre (SEPR VET centre) to present and speak about existing professional training opportunities and discuss the functionality and needs of wood and furniture companies in the region Auvergne Rhone Alpes : type of professional profile appreciated by local companies, competences and skills of employees, employability challenges and statistics, opened vacancies. 

This event allowed the network between companies located in the region, entrepreneurs, training centres and working agency, which cooperating together can further stimulate and contribute to the employability in the wood and furniture sectors : developing and promoting professional training offers, promoting wood oriented career paths, encouraging young workforce to professional upskilling and joining the wood and furniture sector that in France (but also elsewhere in Europe) faces a real problem of the ageing workforce. 

According to the Ameublement Francais in France, 5% of the companies represent 85% of employees and revenue generated by the furniture industry.





  • Big companies (17) employing more than 250 employees
  • Small and medium enterprises (621) employing between 10 and 249 employees
  • Micro enterprises (14 306) among which 1 892 employs between 1 and 9 employees, and 12 414 do not employ any 

On the European level, the wood and furniture industry represents 242 000 enterprises, among which 94% employs less than 20 employees. The total number of people  employed in the wood industry in EU is estimated as of 2.4 million (source:, which contributes significantly to the employability rate inside the EU but also is crucial to the competitiveness of European companies. 

The raw material (wood) availability in the EU, especially in the Auvergne Rhone Alpe region that is covered by forests in 1/3 of its territory, make the EU an attractive region capable to deliver and transform the raw material necessary to meet the requirements of the dynamic expansion of wood and furniture industries. Consequently, the EU employing an important number of workers shall be able to maintain the high employment rate inside the wood and furniture industry and secure future recruitment of a qualified workforce that will occupy thousands of jobs to be created in the years to come. 

Regarding the attractivity, the fully expanding and transforming industry is becoming more and more attractive to the young workforce due to the proposition of employment combining innovation, industry 4.0 and environmental ethics. It is therefore essential to promote wood and furniture career pathways among young generations entering the labour market, constructing dynamic and ambitious professional projects. 

Therefore, a number of initiatives shall be developed and be supported on European, national and local levels by the representatives of the industry and VET centres. In this sense, the WOODigital project has enabled to offer a solution to the difficulties that the wood and furniture industry has been confronted with. Essentially, the ageing of the workforce and the high demand for employment. The project targets a young workforce, which through training and raising-awareness, promotes employability within the wood and furniture industry. Finally, the project is an opportunity to transition towards the dynamization of the different sectors of the wood and furniture industry.