HUGo project: Future trainees reach an important goal

A milestone for HUGo which is dedicated to level 1 work placement training programmes in IT for disabled people: 13 preselected candidates met an important goal and will join the first HUGo class. On 8 September of last year, they passed technical tests administered by the teaching staff at Polytech, the project’s academic partner. The company partners of the HUGo programme interviewed the future trainees to finalise the recruitment process.

The HUGo project is aimed at creating a training programme to promote the employability of disabled people. It offers students the opportunity to complete a level I degree in IT disciplines and in this way promotes career development and integration in a company.

A work placement training programme is an effective recruitment strategy for the difficulties IT companies face in recruiting engineers and attracting disabled workers. This kind of programme is also in keeping with the disability policies of the companies involved in this project and with the relevant government recommendations and those of Agefiph.

Marie-Pierre Saisse is Human Resources Manager at Gemalto and a manager at Mission Handicap France. As she explains:

« The profile we’re looking for is essentially that of software development engineers graduating from engineering schools. We have significant difficulties identifying disabled workers who fit this profile, as there are few of them on the job market. That’s why we needed a way to train candidates for our disciplines. Since we’re very motivated to integrate disabled workers and help improve their employability, we’ve become very involved in this programme which we believe in strongly. This is our way of promoting equal opportunity; students who were unable to follow an ordinary curriculum due to their disability have access to a degree from an engineering school. This is in line with our values and our sense of social responsibility. HUGo is a truly innovative programme and at Gemalto, innovation is a crucial part of our strategy.

Moreover, integrating a disabled worker in our teams is very beneficial in terms of team spirit and open-mindedness. The experience is very enriching for managers because it reminds them to appreciate the uniqueness of each person for the success of everyone

In partnership with the Capenergies cluster and Agefiph, the HUGo project is the result of a collective effort by the managers of “mission handicap” initiatives in regional companies (Société de Canal de Provence, Gemalto, Enedis, Atos, STMicroelectronics, La Française des Jeux, DCNS, Capgemini, CGI, SII, SOMEI, SAP) which share information on good practices.

The initial goal of training 12 people per session by giving them the opportunity to work in a company seems well on its way to being reached.

« Our first hope is that all of the trainees will be able to complete their curriculum and obtain their engineering degree. If the experiment is successful, we hope to continue with new classes of students in the coming years. And why not imagine developing the programme in other engineering or business schools in other French cities? » notes Marie-Pierre Saisse.

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* HUGo = « Handi U Go »