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Good Practices

The Grande Ecole du Numérique (GEN) is a Public interest Group, launched in 2015 by the French Ministry for Higher Education, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry for Youth Affairs and the Ministry of State for Digital Affairs, and several private companies (Groupe Caisse des dépôts, Société Générale and Orange). The Grande Ecole du Numérique functions as a network of hundreds digital training courses that the GEN certifies with a label of excellence. The Grande Ecole du Numérique (GEN)provides a MOOC platform, which includes a wide range of courses aimed at different audiences, with the objective of improving both basic and more advanced digital skills.

Aims and objectives 

The Grande Ecole du Numérique (GEN) has several aims in France. Firstly, it addresses the issue of the growing need for digital and ICT specialists by offering specialised training and accreditation. Secondly, it aims to facilitate social cohesion by focusing on people outside of the world of work, as well as disadvantaged groups. To do this, GEN provides training and integration for a number of audiences, including young people, women, and residents from less developed urban areas, and rural areas. 

GEN also monitors participants' digital skills, assessing how these develop in order to identify what action needs to be taken to reduce the shortage of talent in different regions. The training programmes are based on sound approaches that prioritise accessibility and digital inclusion via an innovative pedagogy and mentorship. The aim of the MOOC platform is to offer access to the careers of the future, regardless of one's social, economic, or academic background.

Why is this a good practice? 

The Grande Ecole du Numérique (GEN) has a catalogue of MOOCs and trainings on digital skills: people can access a catalogue with more than 15.000 training courses in various digital disciplines. Some examples include: a MOOC by the University of Lille and GEN, which targets training providers, offering tools and ideas to help them develop innovative and relevant training approaches.

The MOOC with Social Builder is also directed at training organisations, and focuses on sharing good practices to attract and retain women in the digital sector. This is also a way to bridge the digital gender gap in France: women are under-represented in the digital sector, with only 30% of employees being female. GEN addresses this by offering information about digital careers and sharing of testimonies, including videos and podcasts, with women already working in ICT.

Finally, a third MOOC co-created with the Pôle Léonard de Vinci, aims to teach how to use active pedagogies to increase students' engagement.

In 2021, 26% of GEN's learners were women, and 19% of students came from underdeveloped urban areas. Training programmes last for approximately 8 months. Since the start of the MOOC platform in 2016, 39.233 learners have received digital training, and feedback was overall positive with 74% of participants highlighting the programme's approach and content.  

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital skills in education.
Digital skills for all
Digital technology / specialisation
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Personal skills and development
Work skills
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Geographical sphere
National initiative
Type of funding