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Leathercraft training centre

Our very own centre of expertise.


A first in the leathercraft sector - An innovation in the leather goods business.

Leathercraft training centre

Since March 2011, SIS has had its own training centre on its French site in Avoudrey, the E.M.A (Ecole de Maroquinerie d’Avoudrey), which is an integral part of the company.

This training centre is a major asset to our recruitment process. It guarantees the quality and skills level of future employees and sustains existing employees’ skills. It speeds up the recruitment process and helps the integration process to go smoothly. Once the trainees (who are paid through the employment centre) arrive at the company, they enter the E.M.A for a period of 11 weeks which is referred to as the Pre-employment operating period.

This training leads to a fixed-term contract, permanent contract or open-ended vocational training contract.

At the same time, we offer the possibility of obtaining the Leatherwork CAP qualification (vocational training certificate), a diploma recognized by the national education system. For this purpose, qualified teachers ensure that all the mandatory requirements are in place, and are assisted by qualified training staff from our workshops.

E.M.A training would not have been possible without the support of our financial partners:  The Franche Comté regional council, Opcalia and the Employment centre.



The purpose of the E.M.A is to train SIS’s future employees who join the training centre in groups of around 10. By creating an innovative recruitment method we have been able to open up the new training course to absolutely anyone.

  • With our recruitment simulation method, the only factor that counts is skill!
  • There are no criteria in relation to age, qualifications or professional experience.
  • Anyone can seize the opportunity to join this noble profession.

This is a real opportunity for everyone:

  • to benefit from paid training.
  • to obtain a recognized State leatherwork diploma.
  • to be hired under an permanent contract.



All the training takes place on site at the E.M.A, including taking the certification examinations under the supervision of Besançon’s GRETA adult education centre. The training course is designed to gain the necessary experience in processes and techniques to become a skilled leatherworker. It guarantees a consistent learning curve and regular skills development, while validating each stage of training.


STEP 1: Pre-employment operating period - 400 hours over 11 weeks.

The 400 hours of training required for the pre-employment operating period are broken down as follows:

  • A 4-week induction period.
  • 4 weeks on a training production line.
  • A 3- week immersion period in the workshop.


The first 4 weeks are devoted to learning the basic skills of the trade: sewing and assembly.

  • Here, trainees can repeat their work over and over until they master simple operations.
  • Trainees receive individual support from the training staff.
  • The emphasis is on precision and self-checks for each operation.


By the fifth week of training, trainees work in teams on the training production line.

This is the chance for them to put to use all the techniques they have learned and apply the concepts of targets and production rate. On this specific training line the working conditions and organization are identical to actual production line conditions.

3-week workshop immersion

Here trainees discover production under the watchful eye of their mentor. This is an opportunity to improve their skills and familiarise themselves with the production rate.

Pre-employment operating period review

After this period a review is conducted with partners to validate the training. This is an opportunity for trainees to share their thoughts and talk about their experience.


STEP 2: Signing of a work contract: permanent, fixed-term or open-ended vocational training contract.

Following a successful review, trainees are hired under an permanent, fixed-term or open-ended vocational training contract and become company employees.


STEP 3: For open-ended vocational training contracts, trainees can prepare for leatherwork certification exams (CAP).


This additional training lasts for 5 consecutive weeks + 11 weekly half-days before taking the Leatherwork certification, with the help of teachers from Besançon’s adult education centre.

For people who have not reached level V (vocational training certificates CAP or BEP):

  • General education classes of between 128 and 200 hours depending on the level of knowledge.
  • Classes taught by specialised adult education teachers.


STEP 4: taking the Leatherwork CAP exam.

At the end of the training course, whether or not the CAP qualification is obtained, our new leatherworkers join production under the supervision of their mentors for another six months.



  • 41 training courses, i.e. 623 trainees.
  • 130 CAP diplomas.
  • 454 new contracts signed.
  • Objectives for 2016-2018: 100 new recruits per year.

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