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5th october 2016
Building pathways, adapting state support
The structure of the French labour market puts young people in particular at a disadvantage.
takes them longer to find stable employment, they are more commonly faced with job insecurity
and involuntary part-time work, and they have a high poverty rate. For several decades, a number
of assistance measures implemented by a range of operators have been rolled out to rectify this
situation. This system of state support has a high cost (€10.5bn in 2015), and this figure is rising,
but the results obtained in terms of access to long-term employment do not coincide with the
stated targets or the resources that have been mobilised.
The financial courts are now recommending that state support be more closely focused on those
young people who are the furthest from employment, and to prioritise rapid responses and
intensive approaches. Their report includes seven area-based guides: Est-Ensemble, Le Creusot –
Montceau-Les-Mines, Limoux, Saint-Étienne, Seine-Eure/Haute-Normandie, Thiers and Toulouse.
Young people faced with increasingly restricted access to employment
Access to employment for young people has deteriorated both in terms of quantity and quality. They are
faced with increasing difficulties, resulting in higher unemployment rates, and a mismatch between their
qualifications and their employment, which is often unstable.
These difficulties are significantly more
severe for young people without any recognised qualifications, those who have immigrated to the country,
and those who live in the most underprivileged urban and rural areas.
The dual nature of the labour market puts newcomers at a disadvantage compared to those already
working. The inadequacy of initial training, its incompatibility with the requirements of the workforce, and
the lack of prior contact with the business world also explain this situation.
A major priority with disappointing results
Three drivers are used to address the difficulties young people face accessing employment: direct
employment aid, support and training. However, they are used, both jointly and separately, in a very
diverse range of ways in a number of programmes offered to young people at the national, regional and
local level, alongside the recent addition of the jobs for the future programme and the Garantie jeunes
youth guarantee.
In terms of access to employment, the shortest and most intensive solutions – Garantie jeunes and
second-chance schemes – are comparatively more effective than long-term support by Pôle Emploi (the
French unemployment agency) or local organisations.
Using subsidised contracts to integrated
beneficiaries into the commercial sector is much more effective than into the non-commercial sector.
However, less than one third of support credits are currently allocated to the most intensive and most
effective approaches to accessing sustainable employment.
State support is poorly suited to the needs of young people and employers
New and more ambitious – but also more costly – schemes have been created and support for young
people has been intensified. In general, the authorities have sought to increase young people's access to
training, a key factor in access to employment, as well as expanding their contacts in the world of work.
Despite these developments, there are three main criticisms that can be levelled at approaches of this
target groups are not chosen carefully enough for support and, to a lesser extent, for subsidised
the support given to young people is not sufficiently intensive, and follow-up with young people is
the content of the training provided is limited overall.
The Cour recommends giving lower priority to subsidised contracts, which result in deadweight effects in
both the private and public sectors, and to make more use of traditional forms of sandwich training.
Improving performance through a more consistent structure
The way in which state support is managed to promote young people's access to employment reveals a
number of significant weaknesses. It is very often the case that nationwide schemes are developed
without taking the real needs of young people or the experience gained from previous schemes into
account. Too many schemes have been developed. The various regional stakeholders must unite and
double their efforts to work together, as the most operational local level is that of the most dense
geographic employment area. Follow-up of young people is insufficient, as is the way in which results are
taken into account when determining schemes and allocating resources. Finally, agency funding is not
based on the results of the support they put in place and the nature of their target groups.
The Cour has made 12 recommendations which are designed to:
reduce the duration of subsidised contracts, particularly jobs for the future;
facilitate the transition from subsidised contracts to training;
gradually redeploy the budget for subsidised contracts in the non-commercial sector towards the
most intensive support programmes, such as Garantie jeunes or second-chance schemes, as
well as to sandwich training programmes.
Read the report
Ted Marx
Head of communication
+33 (0)1 42 98 55 62
Denis Gettliffe
Head of Press Relations
+33 (0)1 42 98 55 77