Earlier in this digital magazine, you read how the new generation of customers attributes more and more importance to the reputation of your company, to socially responsible entrepreneurship and environmental care. We at Proximus try to set an example in this regard. Our strategy consists of four pillars, and Technobel may serve as an example.
The four pillars of sustainable entrepreneurship
Proximus has been a pioneer in social responsibility and sustainable development for almost a decade, both in Belgium and in Europe. The CSR policy of Proximus is built upon four pillars: to give everyone access to a better digital life, to care for stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers …) and to contribute to both society and the planet. Supporting actions We try to contribute to the daily lives of all Belgians, whether it concerns education, health care, diversity or the environment. A few examples: we teach children about cybersecurity in cooperation with Child Focus, we close the digital gap for seniors together with DiggIT, we tutor uneducated children on coding in a joint effort with MolenGeek and School 19 and prepare them for positions where using new technologies is important. We also ensure that sick children can remain in contact with their school class from their hospital beds. Climate neutrality This is only a small part of the social engagement supported by every one of our companies’ departments. We also actively combat climate change by lessening our carbon dioxide emissions. Our enterprise is completely climate neutral and, starting from 2030, we hope to have a positive impact on the environment without compensation. By 2030, Proximus aims to become a sincere organization in the circular economy through close collaboration with suppliers and by applying ethics and responsibility throughout the company.
THE CSR POLICY OF PROXIMUS IS RELIANT ON FOUR PILLARS
1 Provide Belgium with a better digital life
2 Take genuine care of stakeholders
3 Contribute to society
4 Show respect for our planet
Technobel provides job seekers with a training in IT
A win-win alliance thanks to training
When Proximus’ social responsibility goes hand in hand with company needs, the result is Technobel. Technobel’s mission is to train job seekers in IT skills and to improve the digital competences of staff in SMEs and very small companies. Lessening the gap between training and needs To cope with the challenge posed by the shortage of certain skills and to anticipate the skills that will be needed in the future, 24 Walloon competence centers were set up in the early 2000s to reduce the disparity between training and the needs of companies. Technobel is the reference center for IT training courses in the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg. This non-profit organization was set up on the initiative of Proximus and the Forem, the Walloon employment and training service. They have now been joined by Namur University. “This structure means that Technobel is directly aware of what companies need,” explains Technobel director Hervé Docq. “This gives us great flexibility and allows us to be responsive when setting up our training programs, which evolve in line with the requests made by companies. It’s a real virtuous circle that results in the implementation of our courses.”
is one of the 24 skill centers in Wallonia. Established in 2001, Technobel was set up in response to the disparity noted by companies in the ICT sector between the training available and the actual needs of businesses. Around 3,000 people are trained every year. Technobel has 17 salaried staff members, including five internal instructors as well as 15 external instructors and an annual budget of EUR 2.5 million.
A comprehensive training catalogue “The skills center targets three groups: job seekers, the world of education and finally the business world with customized training courses in line with needs,” Hervé goes on. Whether they are IT beginners or wish to update their knowledge, the level of the students is not important. “We have different levels of training, from beginners to advanced, and we really adapt to each group, even though generally speaking our students are quite young.” The courses cover all sectors of IT. “We have courses on networks, development, systems, office automation, cybersecurity and IoT. The courses last between one and five days, depending on the needs. For job seekers, we have a format that stretches over several weeks.”
The Technobel training courses really are connected to the business world. “Thanks to internships and on-the-job learning, our students are well prepared for the business world and culture. We have an integration rate of 71 %, bearing witness to the quality we provide.”
HERVÉ DOCQ Technobel director, initially studied computer science and then went on to obtain a master’s degree in education sciences at the UCL Faculty of Psychology. He joined the Proximus IT division in 2002. He became the director of Technobel in 2007.
“The Technobel training courses are designed for and with the companies.”
Hervé Docq, Technobel director
An award-winning and innovative education system To further strengthen the qualities of the students, Technobel has perfected an innovative education system based on the ‘Be a Maker’ experiment. “In 2018, we realized that the level of absenteeism was rising, as was the number of people giving up, and the integration rate was falling. We wondered whether our courses were still suited to our trainees and so we decided to revisit our approach in depth by putting in place a personalized support process and a method of teaching by doing,” Hervé says. “In practical terms, whatever they are studying, they are judged on practical results.” These concrete cases, these prototypes, are again in line with companies’ needs. A teaching method that is unique in Belgium and that has proven its worth, and even won a European award.
“Being able to invest in a structure where people are not left by the wayside is very important to us.”
Antonio Galvanin, Public Affairs Manager Proximus
Essential synergies The Technobel model shows why synergies between the world of training and business are essential. “Technobel makes it possible to create synergies and innovative projects with a great many of the Walloon ecosystems; moreover, this interaction between Proximus and Technobel helps meet the need for scarce skills,” says Antonio Galvanin, Head of Public Affairs Manager at Proximus. But aside from the quality of the training courses and their practical usefulness for companies, Antonio also notes that it is very important for a company like Proximus to invest in a structure where people are not left by the wayside.
ANTONIO GALVANIN having obtained a degree in civil engineering at the ULB, he joined the Belgacom sales and marketing department in 1993. He now works in the Public Affairs group as head of relations between Walloon institutional players and the various Proximus entities.