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What better vantage point from which to detect the jobs of the future than a teaching and research chair? David Baudry of the CESI engineering school and Richard Itzkowitch of VINCI Energies France Communication et Systèmes discuss it.

The factory of the future, smart buildings, smart city, and IoT are the focus of CESI’s Industries and Services of the Future chair, in which VINCI Energies is a partner alongside Cisco. The purpose of the chair is to support innovations and the emergence of new jobs generated by the digital transformation. David Baudry, who heads the Engineering & Digital Tools research unit within CESI’s LINEACT laboratory and oversees CESI’s Industries and Services of the Future chair, and Richard Itzkowitch, Director within VINCI Energies France Communication et Systèmes, share their views.

JOBS. Among the jobs and skills that are expected to expand going forward, David Baudry mentions those related to BIM, such as BIM manager in the building sector, and the full range of those related to IoT, data, and artificial intelligence within Industry 4.0. He says these jobs “will transform production and maintenance.” “We are witnessing an exponential increase in data – “Big Data” – with a massive rollout of sensors, and this will require specialists to process – collect, sort, and clean – the very large volume of information as well as data analysts to exploit it,” says Richard Itzkowitch.

LABOUR MARKET. In France, the labour market is under pressure, says Richard Itzkowitch. “In recent months, we have been meeting with applicants who have already had several job offers before coming to see us. We need to be more attractive and reach out to these applicants. We are therefore working early on with engineering schools like CESI, which is introducing training suited to our needs.”

SKILLS. Soft skills such as rigour, autonomy, and creativity are increasingly sought after. “At CESI, we use active teaching methods that among other things enable us to instil such skills as communication, teamwork, and conflict management,” says David Baudry. “Above and beyond technical qualifications, soft skills make the difference between two applicants,” says Richard Itzkowitch, who looks for “people who are curious, dynamic, and keen to work in a team.”

TRAINING. Continuous training is necessary to acquire these new skills. “VINCI Energies employees receive training that enables them to keep pace with changing technologies and jobs, and to regularly offer our customers new services,” says Richard Itzkowitch. He adds that the CESI chair’s building and industry of the future demonstrators are a valuable tool for training employees in these new digital jobs.