the vocational high school, a surprise campaign topic

Students from the Philadelphe-de-Gerde vocational high school, in Pessac, on December 9, 2021.

From memory of teachers, we had never known that. Often ignored or even despised, the vocational high school is part of the debates of this presidential campaign – few in number, it is true – around education. Several candidates put forward their proposals for this sector which today trains 650,000 students, from the CAP to the professional baccalaureate. Emmanuel Macron, in the first place.

The candidate president refocused on “one of the great reforms” he wants to wear if he is re-elected, during his trip to Dijon on Monday March 28, during which he visited the multi-purpose high school of Marcs d’Or. Among its flagship measures: increase by 50% the periods of internships in companies and remunerate high school students in this context. He is convinced: “We have to put companies and professional opportunities back at the heart of their project and therefore open sectors where there are needs and close them when there are none. »

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The La République en Marche (LRM) candidate for re-election is not the only one to put the vocational high school on the table. Valérie Pécresse (Les Républicains, LR) follows the same line, with the aim of entrusting its management to the regions, to “bringing vocational schools closer to companies”.

For Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France insoumise), Minister Delegate for Vocational Education from 2000 to 2002, it is above all necessary to open up new professional sectors to increase the level of qualification of young people and meet the “needs of the ecological bifurcation”. The LFI candidate proposes a “autonomy guarantee” 1,063 euros per month for vocational high school students from the age of 16. Yannick Jadot (Europe-Ecologie-Les Verts) is also in the field of promoting the professional path, “essential for the transition” ecological.

Unfilled jobs

Why such a focus on these sectors, often the most overlooked in the education system? The crisis of “yellow vests” and then the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted these “first on duty”. “Our graduates, home helpers, pharmacy assistants, cashiers, are among the invisible who have become visible and have even finally been perceived as essential in recent years”, notes Pascal Vivier, secretary general of Snetaa-FO, the first trade union for vocational education. The questions of the reindustrialization of France, on the one hand, and the new professions that the ecological transition must bring out, on the other hand, also weigh.

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