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Veolia’s first Digital Career Fair: nearly 2,000 students and young graduates brought together to find a role at the Group

“Work for the world leader in ecological transformation? Why not you?” This was the appeal launched by Veolia to Bac+4/+5 students and graduates from schools and universities in France by organizing its first 100% digital recruitment forum. On February 17, 2022, more than 1,900 young people looking for an apprenticeship, work-study program, VIE (Volontariat International en Entreprise) international internship assignment or their first job responded by signing up to the European JobTeaser Talent Space platform to find out more about the Group's offerings and professions. 

This online recruitment day was announced by the Career Centers of JobTeaser's 350 partner schools in Europe from January. It brought together around 50 Veolia employees; candidates were able to meet 23 recruiters at stands representing five different business lines: engineering, operational engineering, support functions (finance, HR, legal, purchasing and communications), digital and IT, and sales and marketing. Over 450 young people attended five conferences over the day and were able to talk to Veolia experts about varied topics such as women in industry, innovation in Veolia's businesses, giving meaning to your job and the Group's schemes for young people, as well as the digital transformation, industry 4.0 and artificial and digital intelligence. The Young Talent Sourcing team looks back on these discussions.


Working in industry: not just for men! Equal careers for men and women at Veolia

Working at Veolia means joining a community where everyone can find an exciting business, meaning in their role, engagement to a rewarding collective approach and personal fulfilment through equal careers for men and women.

Veolia's ambition is to become the champion of ecological transformation and the Group's purpose reminds us that gender equality is one of its multifaceted performance objectives: it aims for women to make up 25% of senior management by 2023, with one out of every two appointments being a woman, and a target of recruiting 35% women in manager roles. Three thousand employees are committed to professional equality in our WEDO gender equality network and the WIL (Women in Leadership) program coaches high-potential women. Veolia is also partnering with 'Elles bougent', which introduces more than 2,000 middle and high school girls to the Group's businesses each year , explained Isabelle Hellio, Director of Social Innovation and Diversity, Group HRD.

As patron of “Elles bougent”, I want to encourage girls and raise boys' awareness of gender equality. I also take on schoolgirls for job shadowing work placements in the engineering professions during their third year of secondary school,,  said Gholamifard Shabnam, a Business Development Manager and a doctor in process engineering, who is now in charge of battery recycling issues at the Group.

As a member and organizer of Wedo in the Middle East, I manage a waste and recycled water management unit in the Sultanate of Oman with 330 employees of 21 nationalities, 8% of whom are women. I adapted very quickly to the culture in the Middle East, which has never been a problem for me because I give it proper consideration,added Hélène Coulon, General Manager of Moalajah in the United Arab Emirates and an agricultural engineer.

Innovation in our businesses: changing our consumption and production models

Faced with the challenges of climate change, half of the solutions needed exist but the other half have yet to be invented. This is why Veolia is exploring six new areas of innovation: health and new pollutants, new material loops, food chains, adapting to the consequences of climate change, new energy services  and new digital offerings.

Veolia harnesses four research centers and 30 local laboratories. Its research objectives are to minimize ecological debt in the short term, develop ways to adapt in the medium term and to change our consumption and production models to achieve zero impact in the long term, explained Sarah Hercule Bobroff, Senior Technical Expert for Health and Product Manager for Micropollutants.

Through Open Innovation, Veolia works closely with partner start-ups to integrate their innovations into its solutions. For example, using Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) radar cameras, Veolia scans its customers' sites in 3D. In addition to open innovation, our research teams are also working on in-house solutions – such as the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, the treatment of emerging pollution, the bioconversion of organic waste, the vitrification of radioactive waste and the reforming of hydrogen from biogas, explained Cédric Mebarki, Deputy Director of Operations – Research and Innovation.

Giving meaning to one's job: being useful before being successful

Having a reason to get up in the morning, finding a meaningful job and not just a way of putting food on the table are what drive the new generation of workers, who closely scrutinize the integrity of their future employers. And, as people are increasingly aware of climate change, pollution and biodiversity, the focus on the water, waste and energy management industries has changed; the general public now recognize their importance, and Veolia’s crucial role as a provider of solutions.

The meaning we give to our jobs is our goal to achieve ecological transformation: to fundamentally transform our consumption and production models and to take into account the economic, environmental, social and societal aspects as an inseparable whole. This is why Veolia believes that a company must be relevant to all its stakeholders before it can be successful. Being relevant before being successful is a path, a shared ambition, included in our Purpose, explained Arthur Thoux, Director of Internal and Regulatory Communications.

To implement our Purpose, we apply the same high standards in order to satisfy all our stakeholders. We have set up a strategic management system based on our multifaceted performance, measured using 18 economic, environmental, social and societal indicators. At Veolia, there is no longer a separate CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) component, because it is now integrated into our strategy. That is why we are looking for young talents capable of breaking the traditional molds to build sustainable and supportive solutions. And in the Group, you can have ten different professional lives because mobility also gives new meaning to our jobs, said Armelle Perrin-Guinot, Deputy Director in charge of Social Commitments.


Veolia schemes for Bac+4/+5 students and recent graduates

In 2020 Veolia trained 2,000 work-study students in France, and its campus offers a Master's degree in MISE (Management and Engineering of Environmental Services) as a work-study program. Group subsidiaries also offer graduate programs that host around 60 recent graduates in talent incubators. What’s more, the Pangeo program boosts global mobility opportunities for recent graduates from European countries through 12-24 month international internships through the French VIE program. Each year, Veolia also organizes two competitions: the “Student Solidarity Prize” for student associations at higher education institutions, and the “Ecological Transformation Trophies”, which reward students in their final year of study for their most innovative projects.

   Our Summer School brings together students from all over the world for a week to gain a better understanding of our business and our solutions and to create an initial international professional network. This experience makes a real difference and gives them an advantage for their whole career, explained Caroline Geoffrois, Young Talent Sourcing Manager and Delphine Descamps, HR Development Manager – Water France.

   After an internship at Veolia, I went to Malaysia as a market analyst on a VIE program. At the end of it, the Pangeo team can help you find a permanent contract within the Group. The VIE program is a very beneficial professional and personal experience, and a great springboard for the rest of your career, said Jean de France, a VIE alumni.

Digital transformation: industry 4.0, artificial and digital intelligence

     Veolia's digital transformation means reducing our impact while boosting performance. For example, for our 1,900 wastewater treatment plants, which treat 630 million m3 of wastewater per year, we are optimizing their environmental footprint by modulating their electrical energy consumption, said Thierry Scanff, Head of Digital for Operations – Information Systems and Technology Division

The dwell times in the activated sludge treatment tank by means of compressed air supply are punctuated by electrical shutdowns. Historical data (volumes and qualities of water and energy consumed) enabled us to create a model that has already been deployed in 2,400 stations. The Flexity platform also modulates the processes by stopping consumption during off-peak periods, explained Hugues Bellaches, IT/TO Information Systems and Technology Officer  

We are not only recruiting modelers and statisticians, but also in specialists in the fields of deep learning and mathematical optimization. Industry 4.0, based on IoT and on-site PLCs, requires greater cybersecurity, concluded Damien Chenu, Research and Innovation team leader.


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