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France: 2021 opinion survey on continuing vocational education and training

The baromètre de la formation et de l’emploi is the second Centre Inffo opinion survey on continuing vocational guidance and training, carried out in January 2021.

One year after the first survey, and the start of the COVID crisis, nearly half of the respondents think they will change jobs in the more or less long term (49%) and a third (33%) in the next two years. Vocational training is more essential than ever.

Training is necessary to secure professional future

In total, 1 626 workers aged 18 or older completed the online survey. The respondents’ profile is a representative sample of the national workforce in terms of gender, age, employment status, socioeconomic profile and urban population criteria (town size and residence location). French workers maintain strong confidence in their professional future (68% feel confident, 15% of whom very confident). Nevertheless, this level of confidence fell by 7 percentage points in less than one year (75% in February 2020) during the pandemic and affected employment.

The evolution of professions and skills appears to be increasingly rapid. Some 42% of respondents indicate that their profession is changing very quickly, an increase of 9 points compared to 2020. Similarly, one in two persons think they will perform the same job but not necessarily in the same way (48%), a figure also up 6 points compared to last year. This demonstrates the importance of continuing professional guidance and training to secure employability.

Increased attractiveness of CVET

Respondents’ opinion of CVET is the most positive ever recorded. For nine out of 10 respondents, it represents an opportunity to improve their professional practices (90%, +1 point), an opportunity to develop professionally (89%, +2 points) and a means to maintain their employability in the labour market (88%, +4 points).

While for a majority (59%) retraining seems to be a necessity throughout their career to maintain and improve the relevance of their skills, others still find the training offer inappropriate (27%, -9 points), not practical or not feasible in their current professional setting (27%, -9 points).

Career orientation and guidance is key

In creating their training pathway, a large majority of respondents (78%) consider that training is above all a personal and individual responsibility, a figure that has risen sharply this year (+14 points). Nevertheless, some more vulnerable groups remain in need of help from public authorities, in particular low-skilled employees (employees 31%, construction sector employees 32%, the unemployed 30%).

Similarly, while French workers feel they are at the heart of the training process, they are still in need of better information and guidance on the training offer and job opportunities available to them through varied lifelong learning programmes targeting different groups (young people, employed people, jobseekers, etc.), and accessible through different funding schemes. Some 55% of respondents feel they are poorly informed about vocational training, a figure that has been stable since last year (-2 points).

Expectations for quality and relevant training remain high

In the 2021 survey, 48% of respondents have planned to undergo training over the next 12 months (-3 points). This concerns more frequently people in vocational retraining schemes (86%), in career transition (67%), or in rapidly changing professions (59%).

Among those who stated that they are not participating in a training action in 2021, the main reasons cited are lack of time (33%, +3 points) and the fact that no training matches their needs (25%, -3 points).

The most popular training courses are in IT, foreign languages (with English at the top) and management. Training in the medical field has also been in high demand.

Finally, a large majority of those surveyed stated that they have already funded their training through the personal training account (CPF) or an online service, or are likely to do so (61%, +1 point). Others make use of regional guidance advisors.

Read more 

2e édition du Baromètre de la formation et de l’emploi 2021 [Second opinion survey on continuing vocational guidance and training (2021)]

Les 10 tendances du baromètre de la formation et de l’emploi 2020 (Centre Inffo / Harris) [First opinion survey on continuing vocational guidance and training (2020)]

Video Baromètre Emploi-Formation 2020 – Centre Inffo