DigiTruck in France: Bringing Skills to Impoverished Youth
A Major Digital Divide
A total of 13 million people in France do not have access to the Internet. As a result, many of them also lack the digital skills that employers need, limiting both individual opportunities and also the talent pool able to contribute to national economic growth. The problem is exacerbated in the poor areas of France where uneven development and a lack of access to educational resources leads to unemployment rates as high as 38% among teenagers – more than double the rate seen in more affluent areas.
France feels the urgent need to bridge the digital divide and drive down unemployment. And one of the best ways of doing that is through training and developing skills.
Staying Competitive with Digital Skills
Huawei has partnered with Close the Gap and Simplon, a local French training institute, to provide training in digital skills for unemployed teenagers. These skills are delivered through the mobile classroom DigiTruck. Equipped with Internet access and smart devices such as computers, smartphones, and VR headsets, DigiTruck is fully solar-powered and can reach the remotest areas – geography and location present no barrier.
DigiTruck is expected to launch in France by the end of 2020 and aims to reach 10,000 participants in its first year. Teenagers will be taught essential skills in six areas, which are designed to cover the work skills they need to flourish personally in the world of work and to contribute to France’s continued economic growth.