The French Government announced in late 2017 the launch of a skills investment plan, PIC (Plan d’investissement compétences) for 2018 to 2022. The aim of the five-year plan is to train a million low qualified job seekers and a million young people furthest from the labour market.
Mainly based on the work carried out by France Stratégie, an institution dedicated to public policy foresight, the PIC aims to ensure that the choice of the funded training is in line with current and future skills needed by businesses.
The component targeted at job seekers will focus on long training courses (from six to nine months) that lead to a recognised qualification, combined with strengthened support. The expected impact is an improvement in the rate of return to employment of 15 points; this would result in 150 000 fewer unemployed by the end of the five-year term, a fall of approximately 0.5 points in the structural unemployment rate.
The component targeted at NEETS includes a set of training and support measures: access to training leading to a qualification; preparing learners for apprenticeship programmes offered at different levels; and a strengthened guidance and support mechanism through the extension of the Youth guarantee scheme (Garantie jeunes) to support at least 100 000 beneficiaries per year. The PIC will partly make use of available digital training with a forecast of 250 000 distance learning courses.
The estimated total funding of the plan is EUR 14.6 billion.
A ‘High Commissioner for skills transformation’ was appointed by the government in November 2017 to oversee implementation of the plan. Progress and impact of the actions will be monitored: indicators of training take-up will be published quarterly and, from late 2018, indicators of access to employment of those people.
In the framework of the national investment plan of 57 billion euros, PIC is one of the four priority actions of the ‘building a skills society’ strand; the other three priorities relate to ecological transition, digitising state government services, and innovation for competitiveness.
It is also part of a wide-ranging project of systemic reforms scheduled to be achieved by 2018: reform of the vocational training system, apprenticeships, unemployment insurance, following that of the recent Labour Code.