Hardis Group is backing 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes as the coding school’s sole premium sponsor. The aims of the partnership are threefold: to provide opportunities for the long-term unemployed to gain digital skills, to address the talent shortage in this fast-growing sector, and to support economic growth and digital development in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. 

Grenoble, January 21, 2022 – Hardis Group, a consulting firm, digital services company and independent software vendor, has become the principal sponsor of coding school 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The first spin-off of School 42 in Paris, the institution has enjoyed the support of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council since it was founded in 2017. The partnership is fully aligned with Hardis Group’s CSR strategy, whose priorities include using education to drive social inclusion. The company’s ambition is to train more developers and IT experts across the region where it has been headquartered since its inception, as well as to help the unemployed get back into work and champion less conventional backgrounds. 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Hardis Group share many of the same principles and values, including a strong belief in skills development and peer learning with an emphasis on independence, teamwork, and mutual support.

42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes: an unconventional training pathway for IT experts

42 is the premier provider of free IT training courses, open to all regardless of age, with no diploma requirement. The school has over 38 campuses worldwide—a figure that is set to rise to 50—and a community of more than 15,000 learners. The three-year program involves no teachers and is based entirely on peer learning, giving the long-term unemployed with no background in IT an opportunity to gain new skills. The school is open 24/7, allowing learners to progress at their own pace.

42 was founded with the vision to train large numbers of digital experts outside traditional academic pathways, as a way to address the shortage of talent in this fast-growing sector, which is estimated at 6,000 developers per year in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region alone—a number that is set to continue growing. Since its inception, 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has been championed and supported by the regional council, and in particular by its president Laurent Wauquiez. In 2020, the school moved into premises at the Campus Région du Numérique in Charbonnières-les-Bains.

42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes aims to increase annual enrollment numbers from 120 to 250 learners by 2025, bringing the total number on roll to 750, while retaining its focus on two audiences: school dropouts and people looking for a career change. The school is also pursuing greater gender diversity by increasing the proportion of female learners to 25%, from 10% currently. The school requires support, including from members of the local digital community, in order to achieve its goals.

Hardis Group: solid roots in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region

Hardis Group is a major contributor to economic growth and digital development in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It employs 650 people at its longstanding headquarters in Grenoble and a further 240 in Lyon—out of a total workforce of 1,200—and is among the top three independent software vendors in the region. 

As the sole premium sponsor of 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Hardis Group will naturally look to recruit learners from the school on internships and work-study placements, as well as hiring from among those who complete the course. Under the terms of the partnership agreement, the company will also focus on improving quality of life at the school, enriching programs of study in line with market demand, and supplying Mac development workstations. “Our partnership with 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes aligns with our local job creation strategy,” said Nicolas Odet, CEO of Hardis Group. “It also seeks to foster social inclusion through career change opportunities. Our employees will be given time to promote the school to charities and non-profits that work with school dropouts and the long-term unemployed, and help them secure grants, accommodation, and other forms of support.” 

Shared values and a common educational philosophy

The partnership is founded on common values and principles, including a shared belief in opening up access to high-quality education to school dropouts and young people from disadvantaged areas, as well as to anyone—employed or unemployed—wishing to retrain and move into a sector offering long-term employment opportunities, regardless of sex, background, social origin, ethnicity, or other characteristics.

Hardis Group and 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes also share a common educational philosophy, based on peer learning with an emphasis on independence, teamwork, and mutual support. Both learners at the school and Hardis Group employees are responsible for their own success and the success of their peers, which they achieve through training and skills development programs grounded in practice. Under this model, participants play a dual role as learners and trainers. 

The partnership with Hardis Group presents an incredible opportunity for our learners,” said Jean-Paul Genoux, President of 42 Lyon Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. “They’ll get the chance to work on practical case studies, immerse themselves in the various phases of a project, and familiarize themselves with the challenges and imperatives of an industrial environment.

The Campus Région du Numérique, which was set up at the behest of regional president Laurent Wauquiez, is the only facility of its kind in France,” said Yannick Neuder, Deputy Vice-President for Higher Education, Research, Innovation, Digital Technology, and European Funds at Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council. “It serves as the central hub for the entire digital ecosystem in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with training providers, researchers, and experts in innovation and the digital transition working together to raise the region’s profile within France and across Europe. One of its aims is to address the shortage of talent in the digital sector, where thousands of vacancies go unfilled every year. The partnership between School 42 and Hardis Group illustrates the scale of the challenge and will help achieve our shared ambition. This collective endeavor to forge closer ties between training and employment will be of great benefit to the region.