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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
France

France

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.2 Administration and governance

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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectorial cooperation

Governance

 

Combating youth unemployment and facilitating young people’s entry onto the labour market is one of the French State’s top priorities, requiring the mobilisation of a range of parties. Policies bearing on the employment of young people are cross-ministerial, cross-cutting, multi-partnerial and territorial.

Governance of youth employment policies is carried out via a cross-cutting partnership between the State (ministries), central administrations and their “decentralised departments”, local authorities such as Regions in particular, and non-public partners. The role played by each of these parties differs depending on their fields of action and competences.

The Public Employment Service (SPE - Service Public de l’Emploi) in the territories is managed by the State and representatives of the main operators responsible for implementation of employment policies at local level: the national employment service Pôle Emploi, Local Missions and bodies specialising in the professional integration of the disabled. It brings together all public and private actors responsible for implementing policies bearing on employment and vocational training. The SPE is under the aegis of the ministry in charge of labour, and more specifically under that of the General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP - délégation générale à l’emploi et à la formation professionnelle). In addition, as designer and manager of employment policies, the Minister in charge of Labour plays a key role in this governance.

 

Main authorities responsible for youth employment policies

Ministry in charge of labour

Although the Ministry for Youth and the DJEPVA coordinate the youth policies, as designer of employment policies, the ministry of labour and its various departments are the main actors in youth employment policies. The ministry of labour’s departments include:

  • The General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP - délégation générale à l’emploi et à la formation professionnelle), under the joint authority of the Minister for Urban Affairs, Youth and Sport and the Minister in charge of labour. The DGEFP draws up and implements government guidelines on employment and vocational training.
  • The General Directorate for Labour (DGT - direction générale du travail), which “prepares, oversees and coordinates labour policy with a view to improving collective and individual work relations and conditions in companies as well as the quality and effectiveness of the laws that govern them” (Decree no.2006-1033 of 22 August 2006),
  • The Regional Directorates for Enterprises, Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, Labour and Employment  (DIRECCTEs – directions  régionales des entreprises et de la concurrence, de la consommation, du travail et de l’emploi),  which are decentralised State services acting as “single interlocutors at regional level for enterprises and socioeconomic actors (company heads, employees, social partners, jobseekers and consumers)”. They prepare regional employment strategies and ensure compliance with the provisions of the Labour Code.

 

Ministry in charge of education and youth policies

The ministry in charge of Education and youth can participate to the elaboration of employment policies for young people.

Apart from these State services, public stakeholders and operators also implement and coordinate employment policies designed for young people.

 

Other public actors: institutions, operators and local authorities

Pôle Emploi (National employment service)

Action on the part of the Ministry of Labour is also relayed by public operators and institutions with national competence, such as Pôle Emploi, one of the public employment service’s leading operators. Pôle Emploi is tasked with helping jobseekers find work and meeting companies’ recruitment needs. It “registers jobseekers, pays out jobseeker allowances, and collects, processes, disseminates and makes available data on the labour market and jobseeker allowances”. Pôle Emploi is an active participant in the professional integration of young people with indirect obstacles in the way of their employment (mobility, accommodation, etc.), in particular in disadvantaged urban districts and rural areas, by assisting young people via professional integration schemes or company creation. 

 

The National Agency for Territorial Solidarity 

National Agency for Territorial Solidarity (Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires, ANCT) Created by the law of 22 July 2019, the National Agency for Territorial Solidarity was established on 1 January 2020. The objective of this agency is to support territorial authorities in developing their territories.              

The ANCT is also responsible for designing and implementing urban policy to reduce “gaps in development within cities” and rural areas. In this respect, it coordinates the implementation of measures that facilitate access to employment for young people in difficulty in disadvantaged urban areas known as “priority neighbourhoods” (quartiers prioritaires de la ville, QPV), as well as rural areas being revitalised.

 

France compétences agency

Created on 1 January 2019 by the law for the freedom to choose a professional future of 5 September 2018the France compétences agency aims to ensure the funding, regulation and improvement of vocational training and apprenticeships. It was placed under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Vocational Training.

The France compétences agency is the only national body with governance over vocational training and apprenticeships. It is also the national authority that funds and regulates vocational training and apprenticeships.

Its strategic directions are determined by four-party governance composed of the State, the regions and trade-union organisations for employees and employers that are representative on a national and inter-professional scale.

 

 

Local authorities: the Region

Reduced to thirteen from 1 January 2016, the regions (local authorities) of mainland France have seen their scope of action redefined by the law on the New Territorial Organisation of the Republic (Nouvelle Organisation Territoriale de la République, NOTRe). They have competencies in implementing vocational training and guidance policies: integration of young people in difficulty, training for jobseekers or even the management of apprenticeships and the work/study system, for example.

Furthermore, the region participates in coordinating public service actors for employment in their territory, particularly in the context of regional public service for guidance and vocational training.

The Region along with local partners and State employment operators (Pôle Emploi) form the Public Employment Service (SPE – service  public de l’emploi), whose missions are defined by Article L5311-1 of the Labour Code, which specifies that “the Public Employment Service is responsible for reception, guidance, training and integration. 

The law n ° 2018-771 of September 5, 2018 "for the freedom to choose one's professional future" has transferred to the Regions  (local authorities) missions in terms of  professional orientation,  trainings for pupils, students and apprentices.

 

Non-public actors

Social partners

Among those involved in implementation of (general) employment policies, “social partners” in particular play a major role, in particular in the context of collective negotiations leading to collective conventions. The term “social partners” refers to representatives of the main employees’ unions and employer organisations who participate in “social dialogue” in the professional world. Social dialogue is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as “all types of negotiation, consultation or simply exchange of information between or among representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy”. Social partners, then, intervene on questions concerning such matters as work conditions, ongoing training and wage standards.

Five union confederations are recognised in France and have the right to negotiate and conclude agreements in all professional sectors:

At employer level, three unions are recognised as representative:

Other unions also exist, but are not representative at national level.

It should be borne in mind that all these bodies are stakeholders in regulation of the labour market in general, not only of the youth labour market. They do not carry out specifically youth-oriented actions. Not many young people are union members. Young people’s involvement in unions is little developed in France, while generational renewal of employee and employer organisations is of crucial importance to them. Such underrepresentation of youth may partly be explained by ignorance of the role played by unions. Most youth unions are student unions, the two main organisations being:

 

Local Missions

Local Missions are leading public operators in the implementation of policies on integration and accompaniment of the most disadvantaged young people. There are 450 of them in all, located throughout France. Local Missions are “Law of 1901” associations, created on 1 April 1998. They welcome all young people over 16 and under 26 years of age who have been out of the educational system for a year or more, and carry out a public service mission focusing on professional and social integration of young people. Such so-called “proximity” public services were created by the Order of 26 March 1982 bearing on measures intended to ensure young people aged between sixteen and eighteen obtain a professional qualification and facilitate their social integration, in a context of economic crisis and rising unemployment among young people.

They are defined in Articles L5314-1 to 4 of the Labour Code. Local Missions assist young people by providing them with answers adapted to their situations, dealing with their social difficulties, and making them aware of the various schemes designed for them.

They form part of the Public Employment Service (SPE - service public de l’emploi). At local level, they contribute to the drafting of youth employment strategies and countering social exclusion, in particular by monitoring jobseekers entrusted to them by Pôle Emploi.

Local Missions are financed by the State and local authorities and chaired by elected local government officials. Local Missions are represented by the National  Union of Local Missions (UNML - Union nationale et régionale des missions locales).

Every year, 1.1 million young people are supported by local missions. Almost 13,600 professionals support them in their search for employment.

 

Cross-sectorial cooperation

 

Cross-sector cooperation in the field of employment and training is made up of a range of mechanisms, as well as the creation of bodies for decision-making and reflection that bring together various actors who collaborate on questions of youth employment, such as the Advisory Council for Youth Policy (Conseil d’orientation des politiques de jeunesse), which is an advisory body dedicated to youth policies that is made up of institutional and non-profit actors and is an instrument for cross-sector cooperation.

 

The Youth Policy Orientation Council ( COJ)

The Youth Policy Orientation Council ( COJ) is an administrative advisory body placed  under the authority of the Prime Minister, created by Decree No. 2016-1377 of October 12, 2016. This Council officially installed on January 26, 2017, illustrates the transversal nature of youth policies;

It establishes a permanent dialogue between the different actors concerned: The State, local authorities, associations, young people themselves, trade union organizations. The COJ has three main missions: it can be consulted on legislative or regulatory projects related to youth and consider any question of general interest in youth policy, it can address to the Government proposals to improve the situation of young people and finally, it must send each year a report of activity to the Government. It has two thematic commissions, one of which focuses on the professional integration of young people.

In August 2020, the Advisory Council for Youth Policy submitted the “Les jeunes au coeur du futur service public de l’insertion” (“Young people at the heart of future public service for integration”) report, which concentrates on the future service for the integration of young people, to the Secretariat of State of the Ministry of National Education. This report was requested by the Minister for Labour, the Minister for National Education and Youth and the Minister for Health and Solidarity in order for the COJ to propose public service organisation plans for integration that are aimed at young people. The report is also a response to the COVID-19 health crisis, the effects of which will have a significant and long-lasting social and economic impact on young people.

 

Intersectoral cooperation in the field of employment and training takes the form of various mechanisms or structures bringing together different actors working together such as :

The Public Employment Service (SPE - Service Public de l’Emploi) in the territories is managed by the State and representatives of the main operators responsible for implementation of employment policies at local level: the national employment service Pôle Emploi, Local Missions and bodies specialising in the professional integration of the disabled. It brings together all public and private actors responsible for implementing policies bearing on employment and vocational training. The SPE is under the aegis of the ministry in charge of labour, and more specifically under that of the General Delegation for Employment and Vocational Training (DGEFP - délégation générale à l’emploi et à la formation professionnelle). In addition, as designer and manager of employment policies, the Minister in charge of Labour plays a key role in this governance.

 

For more information see section 3.4 Carreer guidance and counselling.