Malakoff, 16 February 2021 – SPIE ICS, a digital services subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has renewed its partnership with the Occitanie Region for a further three years and is now tasked with equipping the region’s college students (aged 15-18) with laptops. This collaboration, which first began in Occitanie back in 2017, is an opportunity to reduce the digital divide and foster access to digital tools for everyone.
61,000 computers in 370 establishments
SPIE ICS has been selected by the Occitanie Region to provide, distribute and maintain over 60,000 laptops within the 370 public and private establishments in the region. This equipment project is part of the “loRdi” youth support scheme set up by the Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée region. Its aim is to foster access to digital tools and remove inequalities. All students at public establishments labelled “digital colleges”, irrespective of their means, will be offered a laptop when they start their first or second year of the CAP vocational training course. In other colleges, starting on their first year or at the beginning of the CAP, students who apply can receive support from the region ranging from €80 up to the full price of a laptop for families eligible for the ‘back-to-school allowance’.
To successfully complete its tasks, SPIE ICS set up a dedicated team of around 100 members. “We were able to ensure that the start of the 2020 academic year was successful thanks to a sound logistical organisation and a close collaboration with the local authority and the colleges themselves”, explains Edwige Venuat, team leader at SPIE ICS.
Services provided in line with the needs of the college students
SPIE ICS integrated a master package in the laptops, comprising a suite of 500 software programmes known as “my digital school bag”, to enable the students to connect to all the applications selected by the Toulouse and Montpellier’s boards of education.
The subsidiary worked directly in the colleges, which enabled it to provide laptops to 90% of students over a two-week period in September. SPIE ICS is also providing the after-sales service: “we have put all the required resources in place to ensure that the students and supervising staff feel confident with the equipment. We also set up a real-time distribution tracking interface”, adds Edwige Venuat.
A social integration clause to contribute to the local economic structure
SPIE ICS is committed to implementing a social integration clause that specifies employment for people receiving RSA (minimum income for unemployed and underemployed workers), long-term jobseekers, unqualified young people and those with criminal convictions. This was ultimately a success, with the candidates chosen for the task performing a total of 6430 hours of work over 2020, 15% more than the initial commitment made by the subsidiary.
These people, trained by SPIE ICS, strengthen the teams by fulfilling roles in order preparation, back office management, team leadership and distribution. Around 40% of the staff members recruited by the Randstad temporary employment agency are kept on from one year to the next.
A crucial scheme during the Covid-19 crisis
Continuity of service has been maintained during the two successive lockdowns. During the first wave in March 2020, the SPIE teams distributed around 600 laptops to students’ home via Chronopost. Then, when colleges reopened in September, they continued to go into the establishments, closely following all health protocols. “This scheme has been crucial in guaranteeing educational continuity during the lockdown. The students who did not have a personal computer were able to attend their lessons remotely and maintain a permanent link with their teachers”, explains Edwige Venuat.
“Since its launch, ‘loRdi’ has become an necessary tool for all the college students in the region. It symbolises the ambition I have for the young people in this region: removing material and social boundaries and giving everyone the same chance of success, while preserving the purchasing power of the families here. “loRdi” does all this in one. During this crisis, it has played an integral role in combatting the digital divide and school dropout, by allowing people to attend lessons remotely, where necessary, especially those who may otherwise not have been able to do so. It was in that vein that, during the first lockdown, we distributed 500 loRdi laptops to scholarship students who did not have one”, concludes Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie Region.
Group Communications Director
Tel. + 33 (0)1 34 41 81 11
Tel. + 33 (0)1 34 41 88 61
Tel : +33 (0)1 41 46 42 10
Press relations Consultant
Tel. + 33 (0)1 44 50 58 72