Things are really happening at La Poste. For the second year running, the French post office is giving employees the opportunity to learn computer programming. As part of a partnership with Simplon.co, the “coder factory” that provides free training courses for computer coding to job-seekers and people undergoing professional retraining, La Poste aims to achieve two objectives: step up its digital transformation and help employees who are looking for a career change. La Poste talked about this approach to Usine Digitale.
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15 peOPLE SELECTED FOR AN EIGHT-MONTH SANDWICH COURSE
Unlike last year when only the network team was involved, this year all La Poste’s employees can apply to go on a coding course. After interviews scheduled for the summer of 2016 and conducted jointly by La Poste and Simplon.co, 15 will be selected for an eight-month training course. Thus from September 2016 to June 2017, they will alternate between two weeks of coding classes and two weeks doing their day job.
For La Poste, this sandwich course-type format serves two purposes: to provide in-house training to address specific needs in the field of digital skills which are difficult to find on the job market, and enable employees to change career direction or improve their prospects. As Yves Arnaudo, HR Development Director at La Poste, explained to l’Usine Digitale:
“This approach is part of the group’s digital transformation. On the one hand, we needed to address the needs of some of our web developers or designer-developers. On the other hand, some of our postmen and women who don’t have experience in this field would like to try their hand at it, either because of their initial background or due to a personal interest. So we need to help these people who want to develop their career or change direction.”
FROM experiment TO ROLL-OUT
In 2015, the first partnership between La Poste and Simplon.co gave the group the opportunity to test the project: assess employees’ interest and motivation, the usefulness for the company and the quality of service provided by Simplon.co. La Poste and Simplon.co then developed the project jointly, in a way that addressed both the needs of all La Poste’s divisions and the recommendations of the central IT department. As Yves Arnaudo explained:
“We thought the approach was innovative and implemented it because it can be personalised to suit our needs. And the first nine students who tried it were very satisfied.”
THE NEED TO INNOVATE
Aside from learning code, the project is also designed to train staff who can use these skills to innovate. Yves Arnaudo concludes:
“The digital transformation doesn’t just affect people in IT. It’s our job at HR to understand the impact on all departments: innovation, marketing, HR, etc. We need more than acculturation; we need real expertise. We’re working with all our divisions to convert their needs into quality skills.”
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