How to improve the professional path? Emmanuel Macron unveils his reform on Tuesday September 13 at Tabarly high school in Les Sables d’Olonne. Objective: to reconcile a better integration of the pupils while improving the continuations of studies. The method is local consultation. It is locally that the educational teams will have to reconcile the doubling of internships with the strengthening of general teaching, the aspirations of the students with a close adaptation to the immediate needs of companies. By letting the local levels decide, the President of the Republic takes the risk of simply imposing the law of the strongest, which is rarely that of the children of working-class families. And he wants to do it very quickly, taking advantage of the momentum of the first 100 days…
600,000 young people concerned
“This is an essential project for the next 5 years”. During the electoral campaign, Emmanuel Macron made the reform of the professional path one of the objectives of the second five-year term. His entourage, met on September 12, announces a major reform.
It may already be so by the volume of young people involved. The vocational route represents 630,000 young people, with on average a lower educational level than their peers in the general route and a low rate of access to further post-baccalaureate studies: 64% of baccalaureate holders apply for an STS ( BTS level bac+2) but only one out of three candidates is taken for lack of places.
“Adapt” the training map
Officially it pursues three objectives: to ensure that it is no longer an orientation undergone, to better integrate vocational high school students, to improve the pursuit of studies.
For the first axis, the Elysée relies on the “future half days” organized in colleges, from the 5th. The idea is to put college students in contact with companies as soon as possible so that they can choose vocational training. The social dimension of these early orientations is passed over in silence. This new orientation must be done through local consultation between national education, local elected officials and local businesses. Bringing it back to the local is the red thread of the reform.
Better integrating vocational high school students is the second objective. This means “renovating the training map with training that better meets the needs of professionals”, we are told at the Elysée. The regions and the rectorates will have to engage in this revision with the companies. “We have no preconceptions,” we are told at the Elysée. “the idea is for local actors to discuss, take stock of the supply chains and draw conclusions”. The new map should put the immediate needs of companies ahead of the training rights of young people or even regional policies.
The Elysée thinks that by keeping young people in contact with companies longer, we promote their integration. The internship periods in companies will be doubled without knowing if it will be in terminal only or also in first. On this point there is no question of consultation, the decision has been taken and will apply from the start of the 2023 school year. The State will remunerate these internships for an amount which remains to be specified. In the same spirit, the President of the Republic wants to develop vocational high school learning. Currently it concerns 60,000 vocational high school students.
Strengthen general education while doubling internships?
The objective of encouraging the pursuit of studies could go through more positions in BTS. But the Elysee prefers to talk about educational facilities in high school. Vocational high schools could offer CAPs in 3 years or develop additional local initiative training in one year at bac pro level “so that students are better equipped for BTS”.
The Elysée is also highlighting its desire to strengthen the teaching of French and maths on the professional path. “We don’t want to cut corners on general lessons. Schedules could be doubled or teaching could be done in front of small groups,” we are told. But how to reconcile this with the doubling of training periods? “It will be up to the educational teams to see what flexibility to introduce. Not all students will go on internship at the same time. The teams will see how they undertake not to reduce the general lessons”. The Elysée is betting on this deregulation which promises easy times for heads of establishments and harmonious relations between teams… Asked about the evolution of positions, E Macron’s entourage refers to local consultation. “You have to make sure that the stakeholders see the way they want to operate in order to position the internships and that they have the freedom to reorganize the teaching periods. Local consultation will provide the answers”.
The LP laboratory of the liberalization of the School
We then measure what the double supervision of the Minister of Vocational Education, National Education and Labor means. This goes further than the objective, imposed on any reform of vocational education since 185, of “bringing the vocational high school closer to the business world”. The vocational high school is the laboratory for a complete liberalization of national education. With a training map decided locally, teaching volumes and professional obligations decided at high school level, deregulation is complete.
Brother enemies, the trade unions of the professional path (with the exception of the Sgen cfdt) met in inter-union against the project of E Macron. At the Elysee they affect not to fear it. “There is no threat to the vocational school. We are working to strengthen the professional path in consultation within each establishment. It remains to be seen what the teachers concerned will think of it.
Vocational education unites against E Macron’s project
Exfiltrated vocational education
Where is vocational education going?