Phase III of decentralisation legislation was launched in spring after a lengthy period of consultation with experts, stakeholders and local authorities.

The future decentralisation law was split into three parts which were presented to the Council of Ministers in April. The second part of the bill ‘Mobilising regions for growth and employment, and promoting the equality of territories’ contains measures concerning training,guidance and apprenticeship. It will be examined by parliament in October, 2013.

Comprehensive regional responsibility for training
The bill strengthens powers and prerogatives of regions as regional authorities, by giving them full responsibility for guaranteeing that every person has access to vocational training. The State will give up the definition and management of training for disabled persons, French citizens outside France and prisoners. Regions will also be responsible for implementing measures to reduce illiteracy, promote acquisition of key competences and support people who want to have their experience/prior learning accredited.

New governance bodies
The bill will also reform national and local VET policy governance to include guidance aspects: the National Council of Vocational Lifelong Learning (Conseil national de la formation professionnelle tout au long de la vie) and the National Employment Council (Conseil national de l’emploi) will be merged to create the National Council of Employment, Guidance and VET (Conseil national de l’emploi, de l’orientation et de la formation professionnelle). At the same time, the committee of regional coordination of employment and VET Comité de coordination régionale de l’emploi et de la formation professionnelle) – will become the committee of regional coordination of employment, guidance and VET) (Comité de coordination régionale de l’emploi, de l’orientation et de la formation professionnelle).

Towards a regional public guidance service
Finally, it is planned that regions coordinate and liven up the regional public guidance service. They will coordinate actions of all participating organisations, including those involved in ‘initial’ guidance. Hence, the regional planning contract for development of VET will turn into a regional planning contract for development of guidance and VET. Developing this policy programming tool should become easier, as it will be adopted by the regional coordination committee.

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