Usine Extraordinaire

At the same time, the National Industry Council and the Industry Forum were held

The city of Marseille was chosen to be an ambassador for French industry from 14 to 16 November 2019. Seasoned professionals, well-known industrial companies and small business bosses gathered there for three major events: L’Usine Extraordinaire, held on the J4 esplanade, the Conseil National de l’Industrie (National Industry Council) chaired by the Prime Minister and the fourth Industry Forum run by local companies.

The choice of Marseille reflects the active involvement of all sectors of industry in Provence. The Prime Minister’s decision to hold the National Industry Council meeting in Marseille at the same time, provides an added boost to the city’s ambitions in this field.  “Industry is an asset and an opportunity for France. We were keen to see the preparation of public policies taking place here, to remind everyone that this is an essential reality in Marseille”, explained Édouard Philippe.

The petrochemicals and steel industries have traditionally been based around the Étang de Berre. Not far from here, we also find the aeronautical sector well represented with Airbus Helicopters and its numerous subcontractors, as well as two other great examples of French industry: the nuclear and naval sectors.

“Last spring, the organizers decided to relocate L’Usine Extraordinaire out of Paris to the French provinces. They suggested Marseille, because we’ve been organizing the Industry Forum for the last four years. The chance to reach out to young people seemed particularly appropriate”, explained Jacques Thierry Monti, EDF’s regional manager for the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

Attracting young people and promoting careers in industry

An event launched in Paris last year by industrial companies themselves, L’Usine Extraordinaire seeks to change the way young people view factories and industry, and to promote careers in industry. For this second event, the organizers, who are national industrial federations and major industrial groups (Sanofi, EDF, Michelin, etc.) chose Marseille thanks to the significant presence and diversity of this sector in Provence.

“This event was a great success, and one which we naturally owe in particular to L’Usine Extraordinaire’s 126 partners, including 73 industrial companies, who displayed outstanding commitment. The enthusiasm shown by thousands of young people in response to the experience of the technicians and engineers they met here, their fascination for the manufactured items, equipment, machines and robots they had a chance to handle and their receptive attitude to the different experiences proposed to them are our finest reward” explained Bernard Bigot, president of L’Usine Extraordinaire Marseille 2019 and Director-General of the ITER Organization.

In all, more than 20,000 people visited L’Usine Extraordinaire on Marseille’s J4 esplanade.

Showcasing skills at the Industry Forum

For the last four years, the UIMM Méditerranée employers’ association has been putting industry in the spotlight by organizing the Forum de l’Industrie (Industry Forum) in Marseille. This year, thanks to L’Usine Extraordinaire, the event attracted almost 500 industrial companies to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations but also young people currently training at the major graduate schools (CNAM, Kedge Business School, CFAI Istres and Polytech Marseille). During the plenary conference, they had a chance to talk to the industrial companies about the skills required to find a job in the industrial sector, where digital technology is becoming increasingly prevalent.

As Thierry Chaumont, president of UIMM Alpes-Méditerranée and vice-president of the 2019 L’Usine Extraordinaire event sees it: “All stakeholders in the region’s industrial sector have shown that together they can produce outstanding projects.  These events have undeniably changed the way thousands of people see industry and probably influenced the careers of these youngsters, who left with stars in their eyes”. 


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