Orange: launch of P-TECH educational model for equal opportunities and developing the skills required for tomorrow’s jobs

  • Two schools, the Lycée La Tournelle (La Garenne-Colombes) and Lycée Edmond Labbé (Douai) will be the first to experience this initiative that reinforces equal opportunities and 21st Century skill development for young people.

On the occasion of this year’s Tech for Good summit, a coalition formed by IBM, BNP Paribas and Orange announces the launch of the educational model P-TECH (Pathways to Technology Early College High Schools) in partnership with The French Ministry of Education and Youth.

From the start of the 2019 school year, two professional tenth-grade classes from the Lycée la Tournelle in La Garenne-Colombes, in Ile-de-France, and the Lycée Edmond Labbé in Douai, in Hauts-de-France, will be implementing P-TECH.

P-TECH aims to reinforce equal opportunities by allowing young people from any background to develop the skills required for tomorrow’s jobs . The idea is based on a close partnership between the French Ministry of Education, French high schools and companies, and provides individual support to teenagers during five years until they obtain their BTS (advanced technical certificate). Students who have completed the training will have the skills and credentials required to either continue their studies or begin their professional lives.

The partner companies taking part in the project will offer individual mentoring, interview simulations, company visits, workshops on related jobs, professional-skills courses, and internships. Once they graduate, students will be able to interview for appropriate jobs with the partners. The companies involved in this project are providing expertise, employee volunteers and other contributions.

Today, only 48% of vocational school graduates are employed seven months after graduation in France. This is the reason why vocational schools are currently being transformed to increase their students’ employability . This ambition is part of a wider goal to tackle inequalities more effectively . P-TECH is in line with the Ministry of Education’s ambition to foster a new approach for high schools, with a focus on tomorrow’s jobs.

“We know that AI, like other transformative technologies before it, will have a profound impact on peoples’ jobs and the workplace. That is why IBM is leading the way in expanding the pathways through which students and professionals can build skills for today’s technology era,” said IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty. “Through groundbreaking education programs like P-TECH – which we are proud to expand in France – we can ensure that no one is left behind in the digital age.” “Enabling equal opportunity in the school system is vital. BNP Paribas has worked on education with community groups for many years, and hundreds of our staff today tutor disadvantaged young people. P-TECH is a great initiative that fosters social inclusion via STEM learning. As a large IT employer BNP Paribas is determined to play its role in helping young people from all backgrounds gain the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.” Said Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas.

“Orange has made equal employment opportunity a priority for several years and we are very excited to add P-TECH to our existing range of initiatives to improve training and skills. Life-defining choices are often made during high school, this is why I am convinced this grassroots mentoring programme is a great way to open up new opportunities for young people from all backgrounds.” Said Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange.

The P-TECH model (Pathways to Technology) was created by IBM, and launched in 2011 in the US. By the end of 2019, P-TECH will be deployed in at least 200 schools across 13 countries, with 125,000 students participating (TBC). Ireland, France, and the United Kingdom are the three European countries that have replicated the P-TECH model thus far. On an international scale, the project adapts to any school system . Partner companies are working with the French Ministry of Education, especially its pedagogical teams, to define the companies’ implication in the existing courses and according to the skills required for tomorrow’s jobs.

In the coming months, other companies such as Sanofi and Salesforce, or public actors such as the Occitanie region, will be working on the project with the aim to deploy it in other French high schools.

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