French court of auditors criticizes jobseekers’ training schemes

The French Court of Auditors recently submitted a report on job-seekers’ training courses to the National Assembly of the Finance, General Economy and Budget Control Committee of the European Commission. The report was commissioned after it was revealed that job-seekers’ training schemes had received € 5.6 billion of public funds in 2016.

The report was critical of the poor organization of the training schemes which the report claimed was the result of the accumulation of different courses and mechanisms and which the authors of the report believed had led to an increase in money available for training schemes but without putting in place a global strategy nor delivering a concerted and coordinated approach between the various training providers. The report also drew attention to an obsession with short-term results, which actually resulted in little or no long-term benefits for jobseekers. Finally, the report called for more tightly focused and higher quality training programs with a more personalized follow-up as well as improved coordination and communication between the training providers. To best achieve these goals, the court of auditors made 14 recommendations in its report, based on 6 major points.

Improving coordination between actors

The first point of the report aims to develop common strategies at national and regional level, within the framework of common, monitored and regularly evaluated mechanisms. The Court of Auditors wants to define a national and regional basis for indicators to be included in regional contracts for the development of vocational training and guidance (CPRDFOP). The Cnefop [1] could be in charge of developing a system for evaluating individual courses and networking the Carif-Oref [2], in order to improve the quality of the information available and to standardize practices.

Funding is the focus of the second and third points of the report. It is proposed to condition the additional funding provided by the French State to the signing of multi-year agreements with the various regions in France. In addition, the Court wants to change accounting rules to make state actions and funding more transparent and easier to understand.

Improving the quality and management of jobseeker training

The fourth major point of the Court of Auditors report is dedicated to CPF, the Personal Training Account. The report recommends promoting the autonomy of jobseekers in regards to their demand for training courses. The state should allow them to use their CPF completely autonomously to access short courses and should also regulate longer and more expensive training through a career development council (CEP). Funding agencies should systematically carry out quality checks during training.

The fifth point of the report emphasizes the need for enhanced support for people furthest from employment, while the sixth and final point makes recommendations aimed at improving the performance of the training management of jobseekers. To this end, the Court advises that it is necessary to improve the sharing of information, as well as centralizing the purchase of collective internships for all the training financiers at a regional level and  organizing training courses with the authorized bodies within the framework of the services of General Economic Interest (SGEI) for the most remote employment sectors.