Futuribles Journal n° 410


Continuous Vocational Training in France: The Case for a Reform that Matches the Challenges


In a crisis-ridden economic context and a period of rapid technological growth, adults —whether in employment, job-seekers or undergoing “career transition”— have faced (or will face) a growing need for training to adapt to the labour market. France isn’t exempt from this phenomenon. However, as Paul Santelmann shows here, its —recently modified— system of vocational training excels neither in its ease of access nor its adaptedness to the groups with the greatest training needs. After recapping the history of adult vocational training in France, he stresses how fragmented and opaque the system is and how it suffers indirectly from the excessive priority still accorded to initial training. Comparing the French system to that of some European neighbours, Santelmann also highlights the difficulties associated with the administrative organization of training policy (local and national levels) and with the lack of attention to the ultimate goals of training for the groups concerned (workers, companies etc.). He closes by stressing the main challenges facing France in this area, calling for a substantial restructuring of the system of continuous vocational training to take account of the needs of the various (digital, technological, energy etc.) transitions under way in France. The budgetary resources exist, he says, but the issue is one of efficiency.

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