Centre de formation Apave de Saint Priest

The digitisation of training, a historic opportunity for companies and the French economy

Top NewsExpert opinion12/09/2020

Philippe Maillard’s Viewpoint

Apave Group CEO


The digitisation of training, a historic opportunity for companies and the French economy


It is a recognised fact that vocational training is now a fundamental lever for adapting to the constant changes in the labour market and to the digital revolution. Given the challenges of the competitiveness of organisations, occupational transitions, the shortage of qualified profiles in many sectors, unemployment and the consequences of the health crisis, training has never seemed to play such an important role in society. In this context, Human Resources Departments are faced with a twofold challenge: offering their employees effective training which provide them with immediate operational skills, while taking up as little possible of their time.

Employee expectations are also high; according to a recent study*, nearly one in two employed people (48%) would like to receive training in the next twelve months. To achieve this, training organisations must offer ambitious and concrete educational objectives in increasingly digitised formats.

The expression of a unique know-how developed over decades by our Group, Apave is now the leading occupational health and safety training organisation and the 2nd largest private vocational training player in France. As a unique risk management player to have such a significant and recognised training activity, each year we train nearly 350,000 trainees in our 170 training centres, on our customers’ sites and now remotely.


We have a particular role to play in a growing and rapidly changing risk management market, disrupted by technological changes and ecological transition issues, which is constantly pushing us to accelerate our innovation momentum. This ambition is one of our top priorities for all our activities, of which training is an integral part.

Encourage upskilling,

save costs

By offering enhanced face-to-face, blended learning and 100% distance learning, we have put ourselves in a good position by digitising our training provision and supporting our customers in creating customised digital content. By mobilising our 2,200 trainers and integrating the best available technologies into our catalogue, our ambition is to meet the major challenges of vocational training and our customers’ specific requirements. Our aim is to provide our trainees with a differentiating experience to attain specific educational objectives, both during the training courses and in the way they are organised and followed up (digital pathway, instant assessments on smartphone, etc.).

Electrical accreditation, notice of ability to drive a forklift truck safely, fire training, workplace first-aider, actions and posture to combat musculoskeletal disorders, radiation protection, automated line management, prevention and safety, the wealth of our catalogue and the trends that we can see emerging, form a mirror of the new occupations and their transformation and a new safety culture that we are contributing to developing every day in organisations.

Among the innovative formats we are deploying, virtual reality is bringing huge benefits. It not only makes it possible to combine face-to-face and distance learning between trainers and learners, but also to offer professional role plays that are difficult to reproduce in real life (for reasons of safety, availability, cost of equipment, etc.), with different levels of difficulty. Learners can interact and reproduce behaviours in fictional environments, in an infinity of possible scenarios. The educational gains can be measured in real time. Learners make progress by carrying out the occupational techniques under the control of our trainers, while limiting costs and time spent (travel, monopolisation of equipment).


Combined with our unique “inspector-trainer” model and our local territorial coverage, the use of new technologies to enhance educational efficiency allows us to effectively support organisations as part of a logic that is both global and very local.


Safety is the foundation for all progress. Through this new training approach, we are proud to be contributing to the economy and performance of the companies of today and tomorrow.


* Centre Inffo/CSA barometer – February 2021.

On the same