The French policy making environment can be characterised by having a strong central role for the state although this state ‘dirigisme’ has, to some extent, evolved over recent decades towards a more decentralized policy-making system. Regardless of the complexion of political leadership youth (un)employment issues are an important policy area and the high level of youth unemployment keeps the topic central in the political debate. Segmentation of the job market in France is a particular challenge for young people. This high level of polarization creates a « two speed system » of highly protective CDI (contrat à durée indetermniée) on the one hand and more precarious contracts on the other hand (CDD - Contract Duration Determinée, interim). A complex array of “stages”, internships and training contracts means that many young people experience a prolonged transition to secure employment. Those with low qualifications or none are the most affected by unemployment and job precariousness. As a result contract to help new entrants, though not only directly focused on young people, have been inspired by flexibility principles and introduced a trial period for new employees : for example the Contrat Nouvelle Embauche (CNE). In France, the education system can be classified as a traditional state-centered one, being mostly subsidized by public money with the State playing a major role in programs definition, recruiting, evaluation, control and financing. This system was inspired by enlightened and democratic ideals and is characterised by being mass and general education with a “supplypush” logic. The model tends to reinforce social differentiation linked to background and families’ social status. As a consequence, the educational system is characterized by a clear divide between a major group who enters the labour market relatively easily and a marginal fringe facing stronger difficulties in accessing market. These challenges created by the stratified nature of the system have led to initiatives to open up access to the elite “grand ecole” system for groups of society who are underrepresented. The VET system on the other hand is increasingly decentralized and can now be considered more akin to a vocationally governed system more decentralized / regionalized and more company-regulated system. Thus the context for policy learning in France with respect to youth unemployment needs to be considered against the background of the employment-centred transition regime ‘characterized by a strong public sector and broad access options’. The prominence of the youth employment challenge has led to a plethora of initiatives thus analysing policies in this field is a major endeavour. A variety of schemes have been put into place by successive governments. We identify a number of tensions linked to policy innovation and learning in the school to work transition system. These include a fragmentation of the system, stakeholders bounded by their own logic, the accumulation of policies creating a lower receptivity to innovation and the tendency for French employers to be less involved in the school to work system. However, there has been a slow cultural shift reducing the gap between the education and private sector worlds and a shift of social partners toward ‘negotiation’ culture Nevertheless a key driver for innovation in the policy arena has been the situation on the youth labour market during the crisis having a significant impact on the topic that was already part of the political agenda prior to 2007. The role and the extent of economic crisis is also an enabler for policy transfer as the government adopts policy in response to a worrisome situation. A number of key symbolic measures have been introduced to address the crisis on the youth labour market -- including the “emplois d’avenir” and the “contrat de generation” The data collected from our interviewees suggests that stakeholders are at best sceptical about the impact of these initiatives since they do not address the roots of the problem of youth unemployment and are likely to be expensive and inefficient. By contrast more long-standing measures are more favourably received such as those centred on training and skills acquisition in the firm. The ‘Alternance-based training’ – with the Apprenticeships and Professionalisation Contract – have been the subject of widespread implementation and interest from policy-makers. The French policy environment is also shaped by European-level influences. The introduction of the ‘Youth Guarantee’ has accelerated measures aimed at tackling youth unemployment. Established more than a decade earlier, the Ecole de La Dieuxieme Chance (E2C) was also a European-based innovation. This innovation targets young people with no qualifications and weak chances of insertion on the labour market. France is also a pioneer in some policy areas in own right – for example in relation to interns – where a new law aims to increase the juridical penalties for companies, with the idea of reinforcing inspection for in order to increase protection for young people. In this sense France remains both a recipient and innovator of policy for the EU.

Barriers to and triggers of policy innovation and knowledge transfer in France / M. Smith, M.L. Toraldo, V. Pasquier. - [s.l] : University of Brighton, 2015.

Barriers to and triggers of policy innovation and knowledge transfer in France

M.L. Toraldo;
2015

Abstract

The French policy making environment can be characterised by having a strong central role for the state although this state ‘dirigisme’ has, to some extent, evolved over recent decades towards a more decentralized policy-making system. Regardless of the complexion of political leadership youth (un)employment issues are an important policy area and the high level of youth unemployment keeps the topic central in the political debate. Segmentation of the job market in France is a particular challenge for young people. This high level of polarization creates a « two speed system » of highly protective CDI (contrat à durée indetermniée) on the one hand and more precarious contracts on the other hand (CDD - Contract Duration Determinée, interim). A complex array of “stages”, internships and training contracts means that many young people experience a prolonged transition to secure employment. Those with low qualifications or none are the most affected by unemployment and job precariousness. As a result contract to help new entrants, though not only directly focused on young people, have been inspired by flexibility principles and introduced a trial period for new employees : for example the Contrat Nouvelle Embauche (CNE). In France, the education system can be classified as a traditional state-centered one, being mostly subsidized by public money with the State playing a major role in programs definition, recruiting, evaluation, control and financing. This system was inspired by enlightened and democratic ideals and is characterised by being mass and general education with a “supplypush” logic. The model tends to reinforce social differentiation linked to background and families’ social status. As a consequence, the educational system is characterized by a clear divide between a major group who enters the labour market relatively easily and a marginal fringe facing stronger difficulties in accessing market. These challenges created by the stratified nature of the system have led to initiatives to open up access to the elite “grand ecole” system for groups of society who are underrepresented. The VET system on the other hand is increasingly decentralized and can now be considered more akin to a vocationally governed system more decentralized / regionalized and more company-regulated system. Thus the context for policy learning in France with respect to youth unemployment needs to be considered against the background of the employment-centred transition regime ‘characterized by a strong public sector and broad access options’. The prominence of the youth employment challenge has led to a plethora of initiatives thus analysing policies in this field is a major endeavour. A variety of schemes have been put into place by successive governments. We identify a number of tensions linked to policy innovation and learning in the school to work transition system. These include a fragmentation of the system, stakeholders bounded by their own logic, the accumulation of policies creating a lower receptivity to innovation and the tendency for French employers to be less involved in the school to work system. However, there has been a slow cultural shift reducing the gap between the education and private sector worlds and a shift of social partners toward ‘negotiation’ culture Nevertheless a key driver for innovation in the policy arena has been the situation on the youth labour market during the crisis having a significant impact on the topic that was already part of the political agenda prior to 2007. The role and the extent of economic crisis is also an enabler for policy transfer as the government adopts policy in response to a worrisome situation. A number of key symbolic measures have been introduced to address the crisis on the youth labour market -- including the “emplois d’avenir” and the “contrat de generation” The data collected from our interviewees suggests that stakeholders are at best sceptical about the impact of these initiatives since they do not address the roots of the problem of youth unemployment and are likely to be expensive and inefficient. By contrast more long-standing measures are more favourably received such as those centred on training and skills acquisition in the firm. The ‘Alternance-based training’ – with the Apprenticeships and Professionalisation Contract – have been the subject of widespread implementation and interest from policy-makers. The French policy environment is also shaped by European-level influences. The introduction of the ‘Youth Guarantee’ has accelerated measures aimed at tackling youth unemployment. Established more than a decade earlier, the Ecole de La Dieuxieme Chance (E2C) was also a European-based innovation. This innovation targets young people with no qualifications and weak chances of insertion on the labour market. France is also a pioneer in some policy areas in own right – for example in relation to interns – where a new law aims to increase the juridical penalties for companies, with the idea of reinforcing inspection for in order to increase protection for young people. In this sense France remains both a recipient and innovator of policy for the EU.
Policy innovation; France; internships; alternance
Settore SECS-P/10 - Organizzazione Aziendale
https://www.style-research.eu/wp-content/uploads/ftp/STYLE-D4.1-Country-Report-France.pdf
Working Paper
Barriers to and triggers of policy innovation and knowledge transfer in France / M. Smith, M.L. Toraldo, V. Pasquier. - [s.l] : University of Brighton, 2015.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
STYLE-D4.1-Country-Report-France.pdf

accesso riservato

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 2.09 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.09 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/657636
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact