Apprenticeship: When the state does its job, I will have work

Companies pay 3 billion euros each year for learning, but only a third goes to the least qualified. Unlike Germany, France does not offer serious statistical monitoring.

“When the school does its job, I will have work”: this slogan posted by the Medef here a few weeks – and fortunately quickly removed – is terribly shocking. We want to reply: “When the state does its job (promoting learning), I will have work.” Because unemployment is evidently the least qualified, often ex-allergic to school. And for them, we know that learning is a real path of integration.

But it is more than twenty years since the number of apprentices stagnates in France, while this mode of training is at the origin of the low youth unemployment rate in Germany (7% against 25% for us). We have 440,000 apprentices, the Germans have 1,400,000. Our delay is all the more shocking as our companies pay 3 billion euros each year for apprenticeships. But only a third of this amount goes to the least qualified. The rest is “diverted legally for the benefit of universities and colleges” deplores a specialist in the matter, Henri Lachmann, who led a major mission on this subject in 2005, remained without result. In addition, an apprentice is better paid at home than in Germany.

Our delay does not come from the fact that companies do not offer enough positions, as is often said. On the Internet, they swarm. But because this offer is very poorly managed. We are missing a well-designed national portal that allows for an easy meeting of supply and demand. Instead, there are many sites for payday loan consolidation managed by private operators, professional branches (crafts, building …), regions or chambers of commerce. Sites not always easy to handle, while candidates have not been trained in the job search. Note in passing the poor performance of Pôle Emploi, whose offer is ridiculous (5 200 positions in early October) and the site very uncomfortable.

From 75 000 bachelor graduates in 1997 to 175 000 today

Beyond this problem, what is very serious is that our entire policy in this area is “blindly controlled”, according to the conclusions of the Martinot report which explains: “German statistics on learning are very rich.

Consolidated and published every year, they allow almost real-time monitoring and understanding of the learning labor market. ”

By comparison in France, there is “no knowledge of offers and demand, no knowledge of vacancies, no statistical monitoring of the refusal of apprenticeship places or the future of young people. Nobody does any data consolidation. ” None of the figures collected by the DARES, the INSEE, the National Education, the regions or the chambers of commerce are consistent.

Despite the beautiful official tirades, the authorities in France, for decades, have done nothing to give prestige to this path of formation. The state is clearly at fault. Because we can no longer accuse the school of diverting young people from professional streams: the number of high school graduates increased from 75,000 in 1997 to 175,000 today. There are 89 specialties of bins pro and 200 specialties of CAP. Employers can find an abundance of motivated profiles if we value this sector, with a real meeting between supply and demand.

When Emmanuel Macron says “stop making believe that the university is the solution for all”, he has in mind the German case, where only 35% of a generation is in higher education, against 45% at home. If we played the game of professionalization in France, the problem of enrollment in college would be less acute. But let’s not deduce that apprenticeship is a cul-de-sac: in France, one in three apprentices is in higher education. This can be a clear path to success. It is difficult in these conditions to understand why the state does not act better for a real promotion of this sector.