In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared July 15 as World Youth Skills Day (WYSD), to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping our young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Since then, WYSD events have provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training institutions, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policy makers and development partners. Participants have highlighted the ever-increasing significance of skills as the world is embarking on a transition towards a sustainable model of development.
Reimagining youth skills post-pandemic
WYSD 2021 is built around the theme of resilience, which is part of La Fondation Dassault Systèmes’ mission: teaching digital and collaborative skills that are useful now and will prepare our youth for challenges that are to come. These are the skills required to build a more sustainable world.
La Fondation is committed to enhancing scientific, technical and engineering skills by supporting or co-creating worldwide projects throughout India, the United States, and Europe: these are all aligned with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Here are some of the recent La Fondation’s projects supporting the WYSD 2021, which closely align with UN SDGs including employability, inclusivity and transdisciplinary skills.
Project 1881: fostering inclusivity
Inclusivity is at the heart of La Fondation Dassault Systèmes’ objectives; we believe that whatever their social background, with the right skills, students can get a good job and, consequently, have a better life. Well-documented research shows a persistent and growing racial wealth gap between African American families and white families in the United States.
In this context, Project 1881’s mission is to support the most disadvantaged African American populations through rigorous teaching of science and engineering through concrete projects, learning by example and encouraging ambitious achievements. 1881 offers programs for all ages, focusing on teaching the skills necessary for a career in engineering and manufacturing. 1881’s students are trained to use 3D design software solutions. In addition, the program offers several kinds of complementary support, including workforce training, academic tutoring, transportation, internships and more. To date the program has delivered over 5,000 computer-aided design (CAD) hours, spent over 1,000 hours on fabrication projects and created more than 150 robots.
Appprentis Chercheurs: seeding future engineers
La Fondation partners with L’Arbre des Connaissances to leverage the passion of 3DS people and create a spark for scientific and engineering skills among young people. In this framework, the Apprentis Chercheurs program enables first candidates, then selected middle and high school-aged students to work on a project during eight sessions with the support of a team of 3DS volunteers. Based on skills sponsorship, this program broadens these young people’s horizons and allows them to work in project mode, while discovering a company’s engineering and research activities. Students received mentoring at 3DS and remotely during the pandemic. On June 14, at a conference called the Apprentis Chercheurs Congress, the students presented their projects like professional researchers to teachers, friends, family, and 3DS employees. Thanks to this event, they have been able to develop essential skills for their future career: public speaking, ability for synthesis and self-confidence.
ConnectNext: empowering students to be future-ready
The ConnectNext program takes place throughout India where there is a great need for a creation of an joint industry and academia ecosystem to ensure Indian students learn the right skill sets for the future. Its mission is to showcase high quality student projects to industry representatives across the country, and thereby demonstrate the talent readiness of the next generation.
Using webinars, conferences and internships, industry leaders outline the challenges facing industry transformation. They then support the students on projects defined to fit those challenges, and help them to present these to teachers, industry professionals and other actors, thereby improving their employability potential.
Initiated during the first pandemic lockdown, the program was a model opportunity to be a proof of resilience in action; helping high-promise students use and enhance digital skills, and connect with people through digital collaboration tools. To date, ConnectNext gathers 16,000 participants.
La Fondation Dassault Systèmes India is highlighting four new student led projects as part of the ConnectNext webinar series. Students and professors across India will attend the webinar. Each project to be presented is led by engineering students who have been mentored by industry and domain experts as well as a number of 3DS employees who volunteered as Project Champions.
E-Urban Manager Program: developing transdisciplinary skills
Due to the transformation and changes rapidly occurring in urban society as cities are projected to see massive growth, transdisciplinary skills are more and more in demand. However, there is currently no training in place to respond to these needs.
La Fondation Dassault Systèmes co-created with Polytech Nancy (the École Polytechnique de l’Université de Lorraine, France) the e-Urban Manager program whose mission is to identify and develop the training needed for a jobs developing sustainable cities, and creating the link between elected officials and companies to implement management tools in urban projects, such as development and data management.
The teaching of students and the creation of educational content relies on the use of a unique platform to develop cross-functional skills related to artificial intelligence, energy, materials, environment and BIM (Building Information Modeling), which can then be applied to the needs of future cities.
The curricula for engineering students looking to take on these jobs will include enhancing collaboration skills, governance skills and the ability to use digital technology to manage complex societal challenges our cities are facing worldwide.
In September 2021, Polytech Nancy and La Fondation Dassault Systèmes will launch a second innovative training program, also requiring transversal skills in a different field: the e-Health manager.
About La Fondation
Since 2015, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has been supporting the transformation of education, research, and the way we study cultural heritage. Beyond new skills, constructive collaborations, and an aspiration to reimagine and support a more sustainable world, the aim is above all to instill a spark around science and technologies for future generations. At the core of knowledge transmission, virtual worlds enable to better comprehend the world, and to push back the boundaries of understanding, thanks to stakeholders’ active commitment.
As a catalyst for know-how and passion, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes values involvement and sharing spirit, notably through skills sponsorship, to place human interactions at the heart of learning.
It operates through three foundations in Europe, India and the United States.