European Disability Employment Week: Recruiting and training new employees as a socially responsible investment

To meet the challenges of engineer recruitment and of attracting disabled workers, several large companies have decided to use work placement training as a recruitment driver aligned with their disability policies. This is the key objective of the HUGo project, aimed at training, qualifying, and facilitating the recruitment of workers with disabilities. HUGo’s successes were presented during the European Disability Employment Week at the event organised in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region by Agefiph.

Supported by the Capenergies cluster, the HUGo project is aimed at setting up a curriculum for disabled students involving work placement training and leading to an engineering degree from a specialised school. The objective is two-fold: To help companies looking for skilled workers in IT, electronics, and electrotechnology, and to promote access to employment for disabled workers. The HUGo project is funded by Agefiph, whose involvement is a novel initiative.

The first class of the HUGo project1: Degree in IT engineering (Level 1) with work placement training

11 trainees

13 companies
Including the CEA, DCNS, Enedis, and the Société du Canal de Provence[1]

1 academic partner: Polytech Marseille – Aix Marseille Université

First class: 30 January 2017 to 18 January 2019

Isabelle Gumos, a HUGo project trainee recruited by La Française des Jeux (operator of France’s national lottery games) shared her experience during European Disability Employment Week:

“The HUGo project is ambitious and clearly innovative because it aims to set up the first Master’s level training curriculum for disabled students, whose health issues are accommodated to allow them to attend an engineering school. The Polytech curriculum and the decision to use work placement specifically address the needs expressed by large companies seeking to recruit employees with a high skill level. This project is a long-term, lifetime project.”

Being recognised as a disabled worker in no way diminishes my goals in the areas of career development and performance. I firmly believe that social responsibility policies represent added value for a company seeking growth. I’m proud to work with La Française des Jeux, which holds ethical values that matter to me, and which has given me this opportunity as part of HUGo, a first-of-its-kind project.”

Lionel Cicerone, in charge of human resource development at La Française des Jeux, underscored and commended “the commitment of all participants in this ambitious project, which offers our company the possibility to take part in an initiative promoting equal opportunity, a principle our company values.”

European Disability Employment Week

Informing and building awareness around recruitment and job retention of disabled workers were the main objectives of European Disability Employment Week. Several events organised throughout the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region by Agefiph took place from 14 to 20 November 2016, bringing together a total of 750 participants, including companies, public and social organisations, and disabled workers. Capenergies was involved in several events, given its commitment to disability policies in its member companies.

[1] Complete list: Atos, Cap Gemini, CEA, CGI, DCNS, Enedis, La Française des Jeux, Gemalto, SAP Labs France, SII, la Société du Canal de Provence, SOMEI, STMicroelectronics.