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    Interview of a French PIC’s coordinator: the PIC’s action towards vulnerable groups & the training solutions for e-facilitators

    Interview with Régine Roué, manager of an EPM (Espace Public Multimédia – Public Internet Centre) of Brest, Brittany, France

    Tuesday 25th October

    We got in touch with Ms Régine Roué, coordinator of the PIC situated in Kérourien, a suburb quarter of Brest, which is considered by the local government as an “urban sensitive area”[1] of Brest, notably because of its high rate of unemployment.

    Since 2003, Régine invests lots of energy welcoming people of her quarter in the online centre, and draws bridges with local services to improve people’s accompaniment.

    Active in her neighborhood as well as outside thanks to partnership projects set up with other PICs and local services, she feels also concerned by issues of digital intermediaries, and by the role of e-facilitators in the accompaniment of vulnerable groups. In fact, Régine took part in the experimentation of the VET4e-I pilot online training that occurred in last spring 2011, led within the project’s experimentation phase, and which purpose was notably to highlight the role of e-facilitators for social inclusion.

    Interview available in French 


    In what geographical space is your PIC situated?

    R.R.: the centre is located in a priority area of Brest, in the core of a social housing block.

    Before, the centre was situated in a social apartment. Since 2008, it integrated the social centre[2] of the quarter.


    Who are the persons who come to the EPM, have you identified some target groups?

    R.R.: People representing every age’s ranks go to the EPM: children (less than 12), young, and adult publics. A majority of adults is using the centre: in 2010, on 179 registered users, 73 were adult publics, 50 youngsters and 56 children.

    In terms of gender repartition: we used to receive many girls, but now that we are located in the social centre, this public has plummeted. This can be explained by the fact that since a year or so, a group of young men without activity and who left school stays at the social centre’s threshold, therefore limiting access to girls.


    Can you give us an example of action you lead in the EPM (so as to help the vulnerable groups, such as unemployed youngsters?)

    R.R.: We have developed the « Employment Visa ». This Employment Visa targets specifically young public, aged between 16 and 25. It’s an action that I co-animate with a partner operating on the quarter, who is charge of professional insertion of adults.

    Our action takes the shape of a workshop on the theme of employment, organized every Tuesday afternoon. During this workshop, the public learns how to use a computer and discover online job space, discover the Pole Emploi (National Job Agency) website for instance, how to create one’s own online job account, how to create a CV, apply online, etc. The goal is to get familiar with the computer and Internet, and at the same time, be aware of one’s digital identity.


    What is your approach during these animations? Do you use tools and methodological supports, or do you rely more on your knowledge of these publics so as to better accompany them?

    R.R.: It’s all of it at the same time. I like the approach of co-animation, that is to say, to associate with another professional who works in the neighborhood and accompany the publics. As an e-facilitator, I appreciate the complementarity with a person who is an expert on employment and professional insertion. To act with “two heads” works very well. Actually, it’s even more logical in term of ground action: the facilitator shouldn’t do everything by him-/her-self. The employment referent is more specialist of individualized accompaniment, while as facilitators, we act more by accompanying a whole group.


    Why the job referent and you, e-facilitator, did you associate for this action?

    R.R.: it was natural. We multiply actions in matter of employment with this person. Because it’s a fact, there are more and more jobseekers in the neighborhood. Therefore we organize employment breakfasts every 1st Friday of the month: people come to exchange about their problematics and we accompany them to help them create their CV and do useful things for their job research when they need it.

    It first of all enables to discuss and exchange about people’s situations, on themes that they are interested in, and in relation with their job research.

    It takes place in the social centre hallway, but we sometimes try to change the place, so that we can reach other new publics. Between 9.30 and 11.30, people come, have a piece of cake, a cup of coffee and have 2 laptops at their disposal. During this time, some volunteers are taking care of the EPM’s permanence.


    To come back on the establishment of the EPM in the neighborhood of Kerourien, and of its role, with you, in the integration of vulnerable persons – you were talking about actions you lead in favor of these persons’ employment – according to you, why the digital divide is a factor of social exclusion?

    R.R.: We can see that the computer is getting more and more at centre of everything. Even the people who are “far from the computer”, and who are seeking for a job in the temporary work field, have to register online prior to any job application! But people here in the neighborhood are handling themselves quite well. They come here to see me, because I’m identified by people, thanks to my street actions I’m visible, I chat with people, and informally exchange with them. I think that’s important. I’m targeted as an agent that can help people, notably through ICT. Also, I multiply my actions in direction to all kind of publics, inside and outside the online centre.


    Do other people work with you in the online centre? If yes, do they have an e-facilitator profile?

    R.R.: No unfortunately. I’m on my own in the centre. Some volunteers are present here in order to help me in the management of the space but they can’t accompany the users.


    Do you occasionally meet other professional e-facilitators?

    R.R.: I work in network, at distance, with other e-facilitators. It works quite well. It’s done at the city scope, and outside, at national scope.

    I try to develop transversal projects with other structures on ICT, notably for children and youngsters. It basically consists in creating tools and most of all, provoke exchanges. For instance, we launched a project for children called « the Town Rat and the Country Rat », in partnership with an online centre situated in a rural area. The children who live in the countryside don’t know what it is like to live in social housing of city suburbs, and the children from Kerourien never go out from their quarter.

    Therefore we planned out to have both virtual and face-to-face exchanges in between our organizations.


    Do you have more regular exchanges and meetings with other professionals?

    R.R.: I have the chance to intervene once per week in schools. So I reach other publics also. I do quite a lot of outside animations. I barely feel isolated, except during my initiations in the ECM. Globally, I try to work in partnership.


    To come back on the multitask profile of e-facilitators, which is more and more expected (to develop actions for employment, etc.), do you think it is a good thing, and do you think it is manageable according to you?

    R.R.: for me it’s ok because I have a socio-animation educational background and so I have the capacity to develop project, as I’m doing now. But I think that the e-facilitators who have a more technical background can’t match with this neighborhood’s expectations.


    What would these e-facilitators need?

    R.R.: to know how to develop projects. I’m very attentive about the people’s needs and ideas. From those, I develop projects that they like. To know how to co-construct projects with people is important.


    It is therefore very important for an e-facilitator to be well integrated in the geographical  and social environment where he / she operates so as to be able to lead actions that better accompany people in their personal and professional projects.

    What do you think of the training for e-facilitators? Ideally, should the training for e-facilitators integrate a dimension of analysis of people’s needs?

    R.R.: Yes, definitely. While I took the VET4e-I training’s course “Facilitating job seeking on Internet in the online centre”, I was also training for the “DU 3 MI” diploma (Diploma of University studies “Multimedia Mediation and Internet Monitoring”). I did this training so as to valorize my competences and get the diploma that matches. But to me, the training wasn’t totally complete, it was too technical. Project management and group animation were missing from the training programme.

    The VET4e-I  module course “Facilitating job seeking on Internet in the online centre” was specific and so, more complete on the theme of facilitating job research. Since I facilitate actions for employment since 2008, following this course enabled me to “sit and think” and analyze my practice. Before the VET4e-I training, I didn’t take time to think of my action, to check if there wasn’t anything to adapt or change, etc.


    Most of existing diplomas don’t include thematic modules, like the ones proposed within the VET4e-I training courses. Do you think that this type of modules has to be integrated in a training curriculum for e-facilitators?

    R. R.: I actually think that this type of modules would perfectly fit in such a University degree diploma because it brings a practical aspect that is necessary. In the University diploma, we study quite abstract content: exploitation systems, communication techniques, soft wares, without any practical application in the daily online centre context. A module such as “Facilitating job seeking on Internet in the online centre” would easily fit in a “Multimedia Mediation and Internet Monitoring” training. For instance, to use a soft ware by developing a multimedia project in the online centre, with an identified public, would permit to have a concrete use of theoretical learning contents.

    I also took an e-learning course on the theme of collaborative distance work, with the organization “Outils-Réseaux[3]”, and I also found that this type of course was needed for training to be an e-facilitator.

    Training initiatives are multiplying, it’s a good indicator on how the field of e-facilitators’ education is getting structured.


    At the end of the VET4e-I training in which you participated, and in your case, after you took the course “Facilitating job seeking on Internet in the online centre”, did you want to get the module at your disposal, or would you have liked to train in another course?

    R. R.: I would have liked both, to have the modules’ resources at my disposal and also, to take another course.


    It’s true that the complete training cursus proposes a list of 12 modules, amongst which 2 have been tested in French. These are the modules “Facilitating job seeking on Internet in the online centre” and “Planning a digital photography workshop in the online centre”.

    Amongst the 12 modules*, which ones would you have taken?

    R. R.: I would have chosen training modules with a focus on facilitating ICT access for elderly and young publics, in relation with the needs in my online centre. Modules with specific public and thematic approaches would interest me.







    Contact :

    Régine Roué, coordinator of the Espace Public Multimédia of Kérourien quarter in Brest.

    Address : Rue du Père Ricard, 29200 Brest, France.

    Telephone : +33.2 98 34 16 40

    Email :

    Website :



    [1] « Urban sensitive areas » are defined by the law of 14th November 1996 which considers these areas as priority urban quarters by the City policy. They are characterized by big collective housing blocks and a population particularly touched by unemployment and exclusion. These are priority quarters on which lots of public efforts and funds, notably for creating jobs, are invested.  Source : Portail on the City policy


    [2] Social centre refers to the public « centre social », a centre run by local governments (City and local county) and which is a facility of social purpose run at the scale of a quarter, in cities and rural areas, open to all the inhabitants of the neighborhood in which the centre is established, and offering activities and services of social finality. It’s a place with a familial and pluri-generational dimension, dedicated to exchanges, meetings, therefore promoting social and familial linkage. It’s a place of social life animation, taking in account demands and initiatives of users and inhabitants, and encouraging the development of associative activities. Finally, it’s a place for innovative and collective social actions, promoting partnership development. Source: Site internet de la fédération des centres sociaux


    [3] Outils-Réseaux is an association which developed online courses addressed to people working in NGOs and who want to create projects in partnership with other structures. The association developed a course on collaborative distance working. More information on:



    * The VET4e-I training curriculum includes 12 modules:

    • Building a network culture (available in Bulgarian and Spanish)
    • Telecentre sustainability (available in Bulgarian and Spanish)
    • Auxiliary resources to optimize activities in the telecentre (available in Bulgarian)
    • Facilitating ICT access to elderly (available in Italian)
    • Facilitating ICT access to migrants (available in Italian)
    • Getting familiar with Office tools for developing digital literacy workshop (available in Italian)
    • Developing a digital photography workshop (available in French)
    • Facilitating job seeking in the telecentre (available in French)
    • Planning a digital literacy workshop (available in Spanish)
    • Online procedures – facilitating access to e-services(available in Spanish)


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