As Michel Godet and Yves Malier rightly remind us in this issue, in their “Forum” on vocational training and apprenticeships, France is in the upper range of European states in terms of youth unemployment: more than 24% of workers aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed and the rate is one in two for those without qualifications. This is evidence of a real failure of the French education system to help a section of its young people into work. Yet there are a host of initiatives on the fringes of the educational system proper, along the lines of the “second-chance schools” which were the product of a European initiative begun in the mid-1990s and aimed, as the name implies, at giving young school drop-outs who had left the education system without qualifications a second chance of social and occupational integration. On behalf of Futuribles, Marthe de La Taille-Rivero has investigated these different schools that have gradually been established in France (admitting around 15,000 young entrants in 2015). Here she describes their origins, their operating principles and the outcomes achieved. There are encouraging experiences here and a network is becoming permanently established, but it suffers from a degree of financial insecurity, despite a good reputation and having gained a significant foothold within the business world.