Paris, November 10, 2016
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls today laid the cornerstone in Bondoufle, south of Paris, for a new training center 4.0, the "training facility for tomorrow's mechanical industries". Located on the Faculté des Métiers de l'Essonne (FDME) vocational college campus, it will open in 2018. The ceremony was attended by founding members of the consortium that developed the project*, including Max Peuvrier, President of FDME, and Philippe Petitcolin, Chief Executive Officer of Safran, along with public authorities such as Isabelle Perdereau, Regional Councilor for the Île-de-France (greater Paris area) and Deputy Mayor of Brétigny-sur-Orge, Francis Chouat, President of the Grand Paris Sud urban community and Mayor of Évry, and Jean Hartz, Mayor of Bondoufle.
This project was instigated by manufacturers in the greater Paris area (Safran, Fives and a number of small businesses), which are seeing the widespread digitization of their production processes, while also having to hire a significant number of technicians and operators to renew their workforce and handle strong growth in production.
The new training center for tomorrow's production jobs will in fact be used as a simulator for the "factory of the future". It will provide training for both students on work-study programs (250 to 300 over the three years of training) and employees taking continuing education courses (300 per year). They will learn about new production methods based on networked machines, connected objects, additive manufacturing (3D printing), augmented reality, collaborative robots (cobotics), tablets on the shop floor, etc.
The technical and educational resources provided will be used by various training organizations for apprentices, and by manufacturers for their employees receiving in-service training. These training programs should enable future employees to acquire the basic professional knowledge needed, while introducing them to the industrial environment in preparation for being hired. The aim for current employees is to develop their skills base so they can operate sophisticated new production machinery and equipment.
This new center of training excellence will also spotlight professions in mechanical industries and enhance the image of these jobs, undervalued for now.
"The new training center in Bondoufle is an indispensable move in today's environment," said Philippe Petitcolin, CEO of Safran. "With robust growth and a number of leaders in France, the aerospace industry is now recruiting in this market. We need operators and technicians with very specific skills. At Safran, for example, our hiring needs are several hundred persons a year from now to 2020. At the same time, the ‘factory of the future' is developing at a rapid pace and needs employees who constantly renew their skills so they can master the new production tools. In other words, it had become very urgent for us to set up a dedicated training center for tomorrow's mechanical industries."
Max Peuvrier, President of the FDME vocational college, added: "A number of companies in the region, some of which employ apprentices, shared with us their interest in this project. This new facility will enable us to offer programs providing both an introduction to the industrial environment, and practice in using modern production equipment. We are very proud to show that FDME is once again taking a major role in addressing the issue of employment in industry, and leading the way in supporting both youth employment and the continuing education of employees."
A total of about 8 million euros will be invested in the center, which offers floorspace of 2,000 square meters (21,600 sq ft). Construction will start in early 2017 and the center will open in 2018.
* Consortium members are Aforp, Afpa, FDME, Fives Maintenance, Gifas, Gim and Safran