Économie et Statistique n° 369-370 - 2003 Public Employment - Careers Professional - Mobility
Public sector employment and the occupational integration paths taken by young people.
An analysis of the role of public sector employment in the occupational integration of young people looks at the identities of the young people who enter this sector and evaluates the importance of this employer in their integration paths. Nine standard integration paths were constructed from a sample of 1998 school leavers who had at least one period of employment in the civil service in the three years following 1998. These paths give no indication of the role of public sector employment in access to tenured civil servant status and private sector open-ended employment contracts for this cohort. However, they do shed light on how these paths develop differently, especially for men and women. It is worth noting that the analysis covers an upbeat economic period when a massive number of government employment scheme jobs were created in the public sector to boost the employment of young people (public sector youth employment contracts were introduced in 1997). The young women in this cohort found quick entry into the internal civil service market: they are higher in proportion and have a greater chance of becoming civil servants following basic training. Conversely, public sector employment more often comes later for the young men. More generally, a larger number of women work a fairly long period in a public sector job, whereas there is a greater probability of the men's paths showing a dominant proportion of short-term contracts in the private sector, youth employment contracts and unemployment. The level of education also comes into play since there are more qualified women in the paths with swift integration into the public sector and more qualified men in the paths where the private sector dominates. Yet, independently of this distribution, the young people with periods in the public sector have higher levels of education. This classification also shows how much contractual public sector employment contributes to the occupational integration