Aerospace industry
France & International
83,000 employees
Features Used

Half the Resources, 2x the Impact: How Safran University is Powering the Group’s Transformation


subject-matter experts (SMEs) who are digital training content creators


of modules created in-house by Safran employees


completion rate for training paths


"Safran makes almost everything in an aircraft, but doesn't assemble it.”  This is how Frédéric Henrion, Director of Global Learning & Safran University, describes the Group: it’s a deceptively simple way of referring to technological prowess that requires a broad range of skills and deep expertise. 

With sales of 19 billion euros in 2022 and over 83,000 employees worldwide, Safran is the world's third-largest player in the aerospace sector (excluding aircraft manufacturers). Innovation is at the heart of its business model, which has once again earned it a place in the list of the top 100 most innovative companies in the world.

Safran is a Learning Organization: Thanks to Safran University, the Group’s work on internal skills development has paid off: More than 700 internal contributors participate in training, a perfect example of "Safran teaches Safran".

Safran University packs twice the punch: Safran connects 100% of its learners around the world.

Skills at the heart of the Group: Safran ensures its competitiveness by providing skills training to nearly 90,000 employees.

Frédéric Henrion Safran
Frédéric Henrion
Director of Global Learning & Safran University


The air transport industry will face colossal challenges over the next 30 years, linked to technological transformations and generational change. This means Safran will need to redefine its entire training strategy.

Market recovery: a race for innovation

After two years during which air traffic was at its lowest due to the Covid-19 crisis, the aerospace industry's order books are full. To keep up, Safran is hiring nearly 17,000 people a year. Faced with the challenge of climate change, the Group must also transform itself to help bring about a low-carbon aerospace industry. 

These upheavals in the air transport industry require Safran's operating units to upskill in order to keep pace with business and remain competitive.

“The 'ramp up' effect we're experiencing right now is extraordinary: the need for skills to adapt to this rapid pivot is as consequential as it is strategic.” - Frédéric Henrion, Director of Global Learning & Safran University

New generations and critical skills 

At the same time, with the renewal of its workforce and the arrival of a new generation of employees, Safran is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. The Group has to make sure their critical institutional knowledge is passed on, as experienced employees leave and new ones arrive. This applies to all activities, including finding ways of training, upskilling, and even reskilling employees. 

With almost 90,000 employees in 27 countries, the challenge was sizeable: onboard all employees and align career paths while adapting them to local requirements. They needed a platform to help seamlessly connect all of their internal systems.  Safran’s chosen solution also had to allow subject-matter experts to autonomously and easily share their knowledge.

The solution

5 years ago, the Group decided to invest in internal mobility through upskilling its employees and supporting them in their career transition with comprehensive training.

A university to unite all learners and guarantee employability

Safran University, whose mission is to promote learning and support the Group's development and transformation, has put knowledge sharing at the center of its strategy to remain competitive on the market. 

Safran University enables employees to develop their skills through a comprehensive range of face-to-face, distance and blended learning courses. It includes a dedicated campus in Massy (Essonne, France) since 2014, which enables learners from all over the world to meet there.

Safran University in Massy

On Safran University’s e-learning platform developed by 360Learning, employees can take continuous training courses, collect badges as they learn, and earn certificates. This approach ensures that knowledge is shared internally, while at the same time reinforcing employees' employability on the job market.

A powerful platform that packs twice the punch

Safran chose an all-in-one online platform that combines a Learning Management System (LMS) with a Learning Experience Platform (LXP). This way, training teams save precious time delivering training thanks to the automation enabled by the LMS, while offering a seamless experience thanks to the LXP, which aggregates content from some twenty different systems. It even integrates seamlessly with the Group’s other tools, such as SAP SuccessFactors.

“If we’re now able to double our training offering, it's thanks in no small part to the 360Learning platform.”  - Frédéric Henrion, Director of Global Learning & Safran University

Today, only thirteen HR administrators deploy the solution to employees. In 2022, this same team managed over 400,000 hours of training alone.

By halving the number of programs it offers, the University was able to refocus on a skills enhancement strategy aligned with their business needs. With half the resources, it offers twice as many courses – a Safran University that packs twice the punch. All this was made possible by digitizing its training catalog, thanks to 360Learning.

Ensuring knowledge retention thanks to SMEs

Far from wanting to replicate a "Netflix-style" user experience, with learners starting several training courses at once without ever completing them, Safran relies on the involvement of its internal SMEs.

The training platform is organized by Academies or "communities". In total, there are 13 hierarchical groups that are perfectly autonomous in the structuring of their sub-groups. Around 300 active authors (course creators) with subject-matter expertise contribute digital training courses to the platform, while 1,200 referents manage the associated training courses.

One of the goals of these communities is to help make knowledge-sharing a habit, by getting SMEs involved in creating training courses. The more they’re asked to create content and see the rewards, the more motivated they are to share their knowledge: it's a virtuous circle of knowledge. Everybody gets involved: authors, administrators, center managers... This is also how 360Learning supports Safran’s "glocal" training approach, helping learners learn at the right time, at the right place.

“The fact that Safran learns from Safran, that our in-house experts learn from their employees, is really at the heart of it.” - Frédéric Henrion, Director of Global Learning & Safran University

AI at the service of Safran's skills management

In the long term, Safran's information system will be enriched with a module enabling skills assessments. It will also allow skills to be linked with job offers and potential opportunities for internal mobility, according to each learner's profile, all thanks to artificial intelligence. Learners will receive learning campaigns to help close their skills gaps, which also helps the L&D department to accurately measure these gaps and better address upskilling needs.  

In the near future, Safran intends to tackle the issue of skills management more broadly via career plans. By capitalizing on the novel ways artificial intelligence can help to build skills ontologies, Safran will be able to further encourage internal mobility.

“Instead of waiting for Safran to be the one with the needs and to solicit its employees, it will be the employees themselves who will knock on their manager's door to talk about their future development. With the help of artificial intelligence, they’ll be offered training adapted to their plan.” - Frédéric Henrion, Director of Global Learning & Safran University


In 2023, on Safran's 360Learning platform:

445,000 hours of training, including 120,000 hours abroad, with a 50/50 digital/classroom mix

70% of modules created in-house, out of a total of 8,000

• Nearly 1,500 sessions created by 300 industry experts

700+ authors have contributed since the platform was launched

2/3 of modules developed in-house

25 career paths already mapped

• Training paths deployed in over 8 languages

80% average completion rate

Interested to learn more? See 360Learning in action: