Économie et Statistique n° 378-379 - 2004Education-Employment Review
Access to a first job in the 1990s: the case of apprentices and secondary school pupils
The December 1993 five-year law marks the start of a quantitative change in apprenticeships with a sharp rise in numbers and a structural change with the spread of qualifications from higher education qualifications to the occupational proficiency certificate (CAP). It is therefore worth looking into the role of the training sector in first-time professional integration around this central date. This paper forms part of the work on youth unemployment among those with a low education level who have studied for a vocational qualification. It sets out to measure the 1990s growth in the integration of young men who left the education system after studying for an occupational proficiency certificate or vocational certificate (BEP) level qualification in a vocational secondary school or apprenticeship. A preliminary analysis shows that apprenticeship is the training sector the most often chosen by young people with a chaotic school career who wish to specialise in the industrial trades. Gaining the qualification in question, regardless of the type of training chosen, remains a strong determinant in first-time professional integration: it increases the probability of immediately finding a job on leaving the system and reduces the length of unemployment. Moreover, apprenticeships are an asset on the labour market in terms of both immediate access to employment and leaving unemployment. On-the-job training, i.e. know-how passed onto the apprentice by his apprenticeship tutor, is hence optimised. These effects were accentuated by the economic upturn in the late 1990s and the improved image of apprenticeships. A study of sociodemographic factors shows that the professional integration of young people can depend, to a lesser extent, on family background.