KAEFER WANNER in France is Investing in Training

The art of scaffolding and insulation


Can scaffolding be beautiful? France is well known around the world for its artisanal skills. What happens when they apply this talent to erecting structures?


In France, substantial civil engineering structures, such as bridges, railway crossings, tunnels, canals or dams are called ‘ouvrages d’art’. They’re considered ‘art’ because their design and construction involve knowledge and experience in addition to theory. And that is the art of the engineer.

In many respects, scaffolding can be an art as well.

KAEFER WANNER knows this detailed and delicate work well and, in addition to its well-known services including industrial scaffolding, has been making headway on getting into scaffolding for ”ouvrages d’art” in France since 2011. It has been a long road, as KAEFER WANNER has a comparatively small presence in the marketplace and does different work than the classical industry players.

Yet the opportunities were worth pursuing for KAEFER WANNER, not just from a business point of view, but also in terms of showcasing their competence in scaffolding.

Accessible artistry

Another particular area of access solutions that requires exceptional skill is using ropes. The nature of the work is getting into hard-to-reach places and there’s an art to doing that as well.

It’s a challenge getting to these areas in accordance with safety rules that are as strict as they are specific to carrying out work at height. KAEFER WANNER representatives took advantage of the company’s synergies by travelling to KAEFER in Newcastle, UK, to profit from their knowledge and apply that in France. That fateful journey led to the establishment of a KAEFER WANNER Rope Access Division in 2019.

Now the company can offer clients a single point of contact for all kinds of access solutions.

The rope access experts of the ‘Nucléaire Sud Est’ region demonstrated best practice to new recruits during an internal evaluation session before being sent on training. One of the specialists responsible for quality and risk prevention was particularly grateful to the insights provided. “The instructors were second to none, both in terms of their pedagogical skills as well as their technical abilities,” he says. “They helped our aspiring climbers keep their feet on the ground and focussed on safety at all times. We’re looking forward to the next stage of development.”

The visionaries of the future

In addition to KAEFER WANNER’s push into civil engineering and rope access, the company has invested in academies to foster and nurture future talent.

Believe it or not, there are no professional training courses for insulation or scaffolding available in France. That’s why KAEFER WANNER has created its own: the Académie Calo that specialises in insulation and the Académie Échaf, which teaches scaffolding. Around 200 people are trained each year and the programmes are ideal to teach both existing and new employees a range of skills.

Other companies have followed the example and set up their own insulation academies, but KAEFER WANNER is the only one to offer scaffolding training.