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40 Years of vocational training: assessment and perspectives

40 Years of vocational training: assessment and perspectives

Type of text : Opinion
Type of referral : Government referral
Working group : Section for Labour and Employment

Rapporteur(s) :

Qualified Individuals Group
Date adopted : 13/12/2011 | Period : 2010-2015

Created in 1971 upon the initiative of Jacques Delors, continuing professional development represents one of the major issues for the economic, social and environmental development of our society.
Despite the criticisms formulated against its great complexity and insufficient efficiency, the system of vocational training possesses substantial strengths. In fact, it depends upon consistent funding and a principle of mutualisation; it gives a central role to social partners; it increases the individualisation of the right to training by searching to place the employee in control of his training. Finally, successive reforms have enabled it to adapt to developments in the world of work.
With the reform of 2009, the social partners and the legislator have sought to correct certain weaknesses in the system in order to make it more efficient and equitable. In fact, training remains underused as a tool for securing career paths, the provision of training remains lightly regulated, the finance complex and the governance always problematic. Hence the measures taken are attached to the fight against inequalities in accessing training, in particular for employees with few qualifications, job seekers or employees of SME’s and VSB’s.
If it is still too early to prepare a full assessment of the Act, scarcely two years after it was implement, certain positive effects appear to be of a nature to meet the objectives of improving the system. This is the case with the better linkage between initial professional training and continuing professional development, the creation of the Joint Fund for Securing Career Paths and the reform of the OPCA (Organisme paritaire collecteur agréé – Joint Commission for Collective Training) currently being implemented.
In response to the Prime Minister’s request, our assembly formulates 24 recommendations based around four priority objectives at each negotiated change in the vocational training system.
Before everything, this necessarily entails leaving the 2009 Act time in order that it can produce its full effects before drawing up a full assessment and stabilising the system to permit all its participants to avail themselves of the tools and mechanisms.
Beyond that, the ESEC insists upon the necessity of reinforcing the central place of social partners, while calling upon the responsibility of the public authorities in order to ensure that everyone has equal access to vocational training providing them the means to find their place in the world of work and sharing in our society. In this regard, the fight against illiteracy and long term unemployment must be the subject of a strong commitment by all participants, including policy makers.