Orange rises to the skills challenge to make the digital world a source of professional opportunities
Feb 7, 2020
Major technological disruptions and their effects on the world of work require us to continuously adapt. With 148,000 employees, Orange is directly affected by these changes. This is especially true given that by 2025 the Group will look nothing like it does now. It will be more international, more focused on B2B and younger, while remaining multi-generational and at the forefront of new technologies. To support these evolutions and meet its ambitions, Orange has decided to make the “skills challenge” a central component of its new “Engage 2025” strategic plan.
As such, Orange will invest over €1.5 billion in an ambitious skills development and retraining programme. This commitment aims to strengthen, adapt or refresh the skills of all Group employees, while simultaneously addressing new external audiences to help build the talent pools of the future.
To meet this challenge, Orange has set itself three main priorities:
- Strengthen its “tech” expertise: over the next five years, the Group intends to double the number of experts in several key areas to over 20,000 people (network virtualisation, cloud, data, artificial intelligence, code, cybersecurity).
- Develop, in all its business lines, the use and understanding of data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, in particular within the marketing and network management teams. Beyond these advanced users, all Orange employees will be introduced to these new skills.
- Offer every employee the opportunity to develop their soft skills, regardless of their function or localisation, to enhance the collaborative dynamic for the benefit of customers. Orange hopes to train 100% of employees in these key skills by 2025.
To achieve these priorities, the Group has organised its training around three pillars:
Orange Campus – initially exclusively used to train managers – is changing and will now be open to all employees focussing on four key areas: data/AI, cybersecurity, management and skills for all (soft skills). This online school offers a new, more open and inclusive learning experience on the strength of its business line experts, its digital platforms, major partners such as the CNAM1 and the UIMM2, and dedicated spaces in France, Europe and Africa. The training on offer will gradually become more tailored, combining short awareness-building or advanced modules with longer expertise or retraining courses leading to certification or diplomas. It will also be enriched by new more immersive approaches alongside digital formats, and will capitalize on innovative methods such as virtual reality, mobile learning or “hacking rooms”. To address the lack of skills in the digital sector, Orange Campus is also participating in initiatives to train external audiences in order to help build pools of talented individuals with profiles suited to the Group’s and, more generally, the employment market’s needs. This is the reason behind the partnerships formed with the “Microsoft AI school, powered by Simplon” and the Grande Ecole du Numérique.
The second pillar is based on the wide-scale deployment of on-the-job training by 2025. This more individual format enables employees to learn and progress in real situations, with the support of a dedicated guide and based on targets set with their manager. Now recognized by law, this training format fosters the development of skills which are immediately put into practice. Orange plans to significantly develop this type of training over the coming years. In 2019, over 500 employees took advantage of this approach in France and Tunisia. The Group has set itself the target of extending the scheme to at least 4,000 employees in 2020.
Lastly, this year, Orange will launch its own Centre de Formation d’Apprentis (Apprentice Training Centre or CFA) to support its growth and share its expertise in digital professions. The company has long been involved in work-study training, with some 3,500 apprentices hosted in France in 2019 in collaboration with over 300 training centres. Supported by Orange Campus, the CFA will be launched from the end of this summer and will train five classes of future graduates offering them the chance to become customer service technicians, cloud engineers, cybersecurity engineers and technicians or data analysts. It will be open to young people in initial education and people looking to retrain and will allow Orange to attract new talented individuals with diverse profiles who match the Group’s priority professions.
“It is important for us to confirm our commitment, as a leading and responsible player, to providing further training in digital professions for all our employees and offering additional development and support. We believe that Orange’s sustainable transformation will depend on each and everyone’s ability to learn in new ways and to share their knowledge and expertise, and that the combination of technical and soft skills is one of the keys to our future success,” says Valérie Le Boulanger, Orange Group Executive Director of Human Resources.