Yookan pushes the boundaries of employment

The premises of the Yookan ociation, installed since January 2022 in the Rosny 2 shopping center, in Seine-Saint-Denis, October 6, 2023.

An immersive space, accessible to all and free, designed to help job seekers find their professional path: Yookan opened its doors in January 2022, in the heart of the Rosny 2 shopping center (Seine-Saint-Denis). On this October morning, Ritah, 51, takes part in an escape game. She adjusts her virtual reality headset and immediately sees the walls of the room being covered with photos and objects, while Matteo, the host, explains the mission: “Rescue an astronaut who has been asleep for two days in his ship, by solving puzzles. » The group of six players gets started. One of them, Issa, puts down his crutches to manipulate the tablet. The participants responded to the invitation from the ociation specializing in the employment of people with disabilities Unirh, which offered them the opportunity to discover Yookan in a small group.

Nacera Torche, director and co-founder of this ociative structure, created at the initiative of Pôle emploi, explains: “We offer professional immersion experiences through virtual reality and detection of soft skills through gaming. » Currently under development, Yookan welcomes professionals undergoing retraining and people far from work, particularly young people on the break or people with disabilities, in order to explore their strengths and desires, to introduce them to new professions and to meet companies. For Pôle emploi, the main financier with the State, the Ile-de-France regional council and partner companies, the idea was to reach out to people far from institutional research and support structures, to reach them where they are required to circulate in their daily lives and to help them discover professional prospects through digital technology.

Using virtual reality headsets, people with disabilities participate in an escape game aimed at identifying their skills, in Rosny-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), October 6, 2023.

At the end of the escape game, Matteo invites everyone to identify their skills and profile: captain, facilitator, mentor or founder… Key clues to orient themselves. Ritah devotes the rest of the visit to discovering in 3D the laundry, the catering, etc. A “case with 13 professions” (personal istance, security, electricity, painting, etc.), driving simulators, a “serious game” on the customer relations, a mannequin to practice cardiac mage, which must be mastered in the security and stadium professions, are notably offered.

Concrete avenues

But Ritah aspires to an office job, after having looked after children in private homes for a long time and doing housework which put her through a lot of stress. She now suffers from osteoarthritis, epilepsy and diabetes, and benefits from recognition as a disabled worker (RQTH). “It was the escape game that interested me the most. Virtual images made me understand that there is a hidden reality, that I have talents and that there are solutions to explore. » Fascinated by the tools that opened her eyes, she says she is tempted by IT, but doesn’t dare believe it. After all, she studied before arriving in France from Madagascar, around thirty years ago, she thinks. Making such aspirations tangible is Yookan’s entire reason for being.

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