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Olivier Riboud, Managing Director of L’Industreet

I am particularly proud that Total created L’Industreet and hired me to develop this project because our goal is above all to serve the public interest. Our approach is different from other companies that have opened an apprentice training center. The objective is not to create a recruitment pool for Total, but to provide training for industry as a whole. We are doing it for all young people, for society.

Total’s goal with L’Industreet is not to be a substitute for state education, which does an outstanding job for 85% of the population. But the remaining 15%, who have dropped out of the system, need a more tailored solution. At L’Industreet, we have 34 teachers for 400 young people, or a ratio of 1 to 10.

Our entire teaching program is based on three pillars: the first is to propose different methods; the second is to be able to welcome young people at any time of the year; and the third is to adapt training time to what each student already knows and to their learning ability.

I got a lot of my inspiration from online gaming. How do video games manage to create such an addiction to winning that a player keeps on wanting to play even if they lose? Talking to game designers at Ubisoft, I realized that each player has a series of quests to complete. Each time they win, they acquire more skill points to allow them to move on to the next level. If they fail, they can go and get the answers they need from another player. It’s what is called “peer learning”. Lots of studies show that we learn more and retain better when information is given to us at the time we actually need it. Another method of learning derived from video games is what is referred to as “learning by failure”. It is very important to know what to do, but also what not to do, in order to develop a strategy to find a solution. During their time at L’Industreet, young people are aware of the progress they have made and know what still needs to be done to acquire the requisite skills.

Furthermore, providing state-recognized training was essential to establish our legitimacy with future employers and to “fulfill the contract” with the families who put their trust in us. That is why our students leave L’Industreet with vocational qualifications that are recognized by the Ministry of Labor. These are vocational qualification certificates that are equivalent to two years of college education, even three years in some cases. We plan to do more by setting up an “in-house” soft skills certificate. My dream is to have recruiters wanting to snatch up young graduates leaving L’Industreet, whether they have a diploma or not!

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