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Transforming the Veolia Group makes managing skills a strategically important challenge. How does Veolia meet the challenge in ways that reflect its importance?


Veolia has been engaged in a far-reaching transformation of its strategy since 2009. This impacts the scope of its activities and involves reorganizing its divisions into geographical regions and adapting its customer portfolio to achieve a better balance of municipal and industrial clients. 

These changes, combined with the rise of worldwide digitalization, are reflected directly in the range of business lines that make Veolia the force it is. Skills management is therefore one of the major challenges in our transformation. It is a challenge in terms of our social responsibility to employees, 50% of them manual workers, and a challenge in terms of value creation for our clients. The quality of Veolia’s responses to environmental challenges and the growing demands of our municipal and industrial clients depends on our expertise and, more broadly, the soundness of our social model.
Each business unit has to pinpoint the social consequences of its strategy to deliver the Group’s transformation. They then use this assessment to draw up an action plan. The plan will include updated training programs which particularly target the business lines most impacted but also ensure that working conditions remain safe and provide support for local management.
Veolia’s training policy is designed to complement our strategy, performance and commercial development, constantly adapt the skills needed by ever more complex business lines – largely via training in new technologies and digital – as well as foster career flexibility and plan ahead for new key skills, including via work-study programs. 

This challenge is central to our social dialogue, as illustrated by the agreement with the European Works Council to ensure a constant balance is maintained between Group strategy and the need to help people develop the skills for the jobs of tomorrow. As part of this process, an innovative training program has been designed for employee representatives on the European Works Council.

We use indicators to track each business unit’s training efforts, assess the impact of training courses, with a special focus on technical training, and measure the retention rate for the most talented employees.