La Plateforme sets its sights on becoming France's top digital school

La Plateforme sets its sights on becoming France's top digital school
18 February 2021 / Big Data/Data Centers, Internet of Things, Media, Software/Digital Services & Consulting

A new urban campus is in preparation for 2021

La Plateforme is a digital school founded in 2019 in the La Joliette neighborhood of Marseille. The tuition-free program focuses on inclusion and has enjoyed growing popularity among young people and companies looking for training to improve their understanding of the challenges of digitalization. Driven by this success, La Plateforme is preparing to scale its offer up to 3,000 trainings per year in 2026. The arrival on the job market of these talented young specialists in coding, AI and cybersecurity will be yet another advantage to boost the appeal of the Aix-Marseille-Provence region in the eyes of European companies in need of candidates with increasingly sought-after skills in a tight labor market.

Inspired by the digital schools of Silicon Valley, La Plateforme opened its doors in 2019 with the goal of helping young job seekers and school drop-outs from priority neighborhoods get back on track by training them in computer coding through a two-year curriculum. Once they have mastered coding, they move on to the work-study phase and apprenticeship contracts.

In September 2020, in anticipation of the future needs of businesses, La Plateforme built out its training portfolio by adding two programs that confer professional certificates equivalent to Bachelor and Master's degrees in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Whether they have baccalaureate degrees or not, when young adults enroll at La Plateforme, they are guaranteed to find job opportunities in professions that are in high demand.

"If the current trend continues, there will be 280,000 positions to fill for IT engineers and developers in France in 2028. The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of companies and demand will continue to increase. That is why we grew from 50 students when we started to 200 this year and will kick into high gear with 3,000 students trained per year by 2026 to meet companies' needs. With 3,000 students trained, we would be the biggest school in France dedicated to new technologies and IT. In Marseille, businesses will be able to hire digital talents," explains Cyril Zimmermann, founder of La Plateforme.

Workshops to help companies go digital

With financial backing from local governments and major companies in the region convened within the Top 20 Club, the school wants to build a new urban campus in 2021 to accommodate more students and business executives. With the public health crisis, La Plateforme has provided support to economic actors by organizing skills update sessions for executives and developing related projects, including in the fields of cybersecurity and AI.

"The projects, which are developed and tested with a team of four to five students, lead to prototypes and open up new lines of thought in companies," Cyril Zimmerman recounts.

In just three years, La Plateforme has succeeded in confirming the direction taken by Aix-Marseille-Provence to kick start the region's positioning in the field of new technologies by welcoming key companies in cloud services, telecommunications (Orange, SFR, Iliad, Interxion, etc.) and groups such as IBM and Infosys. It is an advantage that Provence Promotion will not fail to showcase to potential investors.