Interview conducted by Mégalis Bretagne for their newsletter for local elected officials following the contract signed with Axione – Bouygues Energies & Services for the deployment of fiber optics in the Brittany region.

Why has the Bouygues Construction group applied to build phases 2 and 3 of the Brittany Very High Speed project?

Digital works are an original challenge that aim to bolster regional competitiveness and appeal while supporting the modernisation of public services. Beyond economic aspects alone, the development of fibre has bolstered the accessibility of digital uses and services. We felt a true desire to speed up rollout throughout the region as well as an urgent need to standardise the entire region while promising a balanced development logic for the region.

We are convinced that Internet access has to become a legitimate need, required by all. In this way, the choice made by Mégalis Brittany is in keeping with our values and profound beliefs. By sharing this joint vision, it was evident to us that we should apply to carry out works on the Very High Speed Brittany project, due to the level of ambition and challenges to be met.

On top of that, Axione and Bouygues Energies & Services are already active in the Brittany region. This market is therefore a major rallying point for our Group. Fibre for all is a very important policy for residents, businesses, and local authorities alike, and we are proud to be able to do our part to help forge this reality!

What industrial strategy will you implement to achieve the construction of 150,000 connections a year from 2021?

We have been able to industrialise our strategy thanks to over 10 years’ experience in rollouts of this scale. Currently, Axione provides one out of every two connections in France, we have therefore had to strengthen our palette of expertise through multi-faceted and complementary job roles so as to meet the expectations of regional authorities and operators.

Now we are systematically implementing an ambitious recruitment policy, we anticipate orders and see the quality of studies as extremely important and an essential aspect for the success of the project. Internalising our palette of skills allows us to have a high capacity of our own production to counter increases in scale.

In terms of anticipation, we will also attempt to mitigate the effects of the increase in activity as much as possible via quality framework agreements in France and internationally. This strategy in particular allowed us to guarantee our fibre optic deliveries in 2017 and 2018, despite a global context of shortages on the French market. Lastly, we stress that our overall strategy relies on the local economy itself.

Axione is driven by a firm belief that the professional activities of a digital developer do not end with the implementation of the network infrastructure. There is also a need to be a rich source of ideas, make innovation a priority and get involved in the creation of a genuine local development dynamic. In order to do this, we hope to contribute towards Brittany’s appeal by building a network for Bretons, by Bretons!

The group has committed to working with local businesses whilst applying a non-discriminatory policy. In this way, we seek to provide support to those who wish to receive it in their transition towards the new professional activities of the future, based on the long-term development of their activities. This will allow them to access new markets, create jobs, and make the jobs last.

Speaking of job creation, what will be the impact of this contract on local employment?

Although the group is already present in the region, this represents around 200 jobs that will be directly opened up by the group over the 8 years of the project, along with a large number of other newly created jobs within the subcontracting companies. Needs are very substantial, but this field is appealing and we do not hesitate to take on a large number of new recruits who are not familiar with fibre. In order to succeed, we have an approach that is both structured and, above all, concerted with stakeholders active within the local employment sector, who are experts in their own region.

We hope to encourage people to find their vocation, and in order to do this, recruitment alone is not enough: training plays an important role too. Therefore, we will turn to regional stakeholders to meet the needs for operational training courses, and training courses that lead to a qualification. Every day, we attach a tremendous amount of importance to our employees, who are key figures in the success of all our projects.

Naturally, we hope that this contract will be beneficial on all levels! Beyond recruitment and training, we also hope to make these professions accessible to people who have become estranged from the employment market. Combined with local public policies, we uphold a proactive approach to the professional insertion of people in need. We set up thorough systems that combine partnerships with local structures, the organisation of worksite visits, job dating, and pathways to integration and training that are adapted to each applicant employed.

To conclude, we are ready to meet this new challenge and are proud to contribute to the attractiveness of Brittany!