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Emmanuel Macron launches vocational education reform

Jean Damien Lesay for Localtis


The President of the Republic launched a reform of vocational education, with which he wants to emphasize local anchoring and better integrate young people into the world of work in companies. Whether from the point of view of orientation or the revision of the training map, the regional councils will have a major role.

After speaking with the rectors of the academies before the start of the school year (read our article of August 29), Emmanuel Macron has once again put himself in the forefront of education. On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, during his trip to Sables-d’Olonne, the President of the Republic presented the vocational education reform he is requesting. A reform in which the regions will play an important role.

If Emmanuel Macron has chosen this return to launch this reform, it is only a matter of time: this “fundamental project” should indeed last a full five-year period. This project is essential in the eyes of the President of the Republic, because 630,000 young people whose professional careers are concerned, i.e. a third of French high school students, have a job when integrating into the world.

Deselect the default option

This vocational education reform will be based on three goals: to put an end to “subject” orientation, to “better integrate” students of secondary vocational schools, but also to improve their studies at universities.

To work on the first axis, Élysée expects weekly “Future” days dedicated to orientation, which will be set up from grade 5 onwards.e. Organized on the basis of consultations between the National Education Agency, regions and companies, they provide secondary school students with contact. “Orientation is not a bad word, said Emmanuel Macron in Sables-d’Olonne. If we organize well, a vocational school can be the result of a choice. And the region plays a key role because it goes back to school.”

Close formations that do not insert

“Too few of our high school students have access to employment or selected post-baccalaureate education,” the President of the Republic reminded the students of Tabarly Gymnasium. Indeed, two years after obtaining the diploma, only 41% of CAP holders and 53% of vocational high school diploma holders have a job. For better integration, the Élysée intends to play the local card again by renovating the training card with courses in line with the needs of the territories. At the center of the reform will again be “hand in hand” consultations between regions, rectors and companies. So the course is set: “We will have to assume together that we will close.” [les formations] that don’t invest and develop those that do. Also create new ones, targeting the sectors that are recruiting, adapt the diplomas to the new skills required by demonstrating agility.” Emmanuel Macron was inspired in this direction by the example of the Tabarla High School and its maritime environment: “The training courses that are open here in the Vendée according to your needs.’

Plus 50% of internship time

In order to prepare young people to look for a job even before graduation, the President of the Republic wants to expand the internship period by at least 50% from the beginning of the 2023 school year and pay them: “It is the nation’s investment. We can’t ask companies to pay for internships.” As for the “realignment” of secondary vocational schools with the world of work, this requires more autonomy and means for secondary vocational schools to innovate. Among the ways: hire more docents from companies.

Finally, in order to achieve the goal of improving studies – while only 35% of the 64% of holders of secondary vocational education who apply for the BTS are accepted – secondary vocational schools could especially develop supplementary education based on an initiative at the local secondary school level. better integrate BTS. In the same logic, the teaching of general subjects such as mathematics and French would also be strengthened. On this topic, Emmanuel Macron “claimed” to combine basic knowledge and learning a trade: “It would be a strange school that would lead to inaction.”

“Make the vocational school stronger”, that is the ambition of the head of state. In the coming months, “huge consulting work will start from the ground up.” And experiments could happen quickly in certain regions.

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