The digital divide is a global problem that effects almost every nation. And with 14 million people experiencing at least one form of digital exclusion – whether it be Internet access, computer literacy, or difficulty using devices – France is no exception.
Moreover, a lack of digital skills continues to exclude many people from enjoying the benefits of access to technology, an issue that's intensified since the pandemic moved so much of work, school, and life online.
One of the objectives of the "French National Plan for Digital Inclusion" is to promote training and reskilling so as to raise basic digital skills and expand the use of digital technology to everyone. In practice, this equates to providing training for 4.5 million people over the next ten years.
Initiated by Huawei in collaboration with Simplon and Close the Gap, and aligned with the French national plan, the France DigiTruck program aims to promote digital inclusion by providing free training in basic digital skills to communities in "Quartiers Prioritaires de la Ville" (QPVs) – priority districts according to urban policy. Target trainees include young people, adults, and senior citizens who are looking to improve their employment prospects, access public services online, and confidently use digital tools such as social media.
Tutorials on the Internet are good, but a trainer who explains and shows us, and with whom we can practice, is still much more practical. CindyDigiTruck trainee in Lens
Converted from a used shipping container, the France DigiTruck is a fully solar-powered mobile classroom. It accommodates 20 workstations and comes equipped with Huawei computers, tablets, smartphones, and an Internet connection.
Three to four training sessions are provided per day on the DigiTruck, each focusing on a specific skill. Topics cover basic digital literacy skills, such as how to use devices, the Internet, email, and online conference tools, and soft skills like drafting business documents, searching for jobs online, starting an online business, and basic coding.
I'm learning to send emails to keep in touch with my family. This is very important to me.CatherineDigiTruck trainee in Dunkerque
The first phase of the DigiTruck program covered nine cities in the Hauts-de-France region from July to November 2021. Around 1,500 trainees benefited from nearly 700 training hours. In 2022, the DigiTruck will continue providing training in more regions in France.
The DigiTruck is an inclusive tool that comes close to the people. It will allow people to discover new technologies through the use of computers, tablets and smartphones. Olivier GacquerreMayor of Béthune
The DigiTruck meets a need that we had identified a long time ago: It goes as close as possible to people who are far from digital tools. The trainings provide them concrete help. Pierre FerrariDirector of Digital Strategy, City of Arras