Compagnons de Devoir: the emergent lessons for HRD
Malloch, Birgit Kleymann, Jacques Angot; Catholic University of Lille,
Redman, University of Durham, United Kingdom
paper is a case which describes the HRD system of Les Compagnons du Devoir
(CdD) an ancient French trade guild offering high-skill vocational and
educational training (VET), rich in culture and humanity, in 22 trades
mainly in the engineering and construction industries. It has about
10,000 young people in training at any one time making it a medium-sized
player in French VET. The authors are members of the Conseil Scientifique
de l’International Journeyman Programme. The International Journeyman
Programme is a project set up to offer high-skills training to young people
from the north of England by passing them through the CdD training system.
The paper describes the history of the CdD identifying it as a highly successful
HRD system. The tangible elements of the CdD are described namely
the membership, the Houses (a network of residential colleges), and the
vocational and cultural curriculum. This is followed by a description
and discussion of its philosophy, notably notions of le devoir, le métier
and the honour principle. The paper then describes and analyses some
of the reasons for its success. These are the:
the approaches to mentoring appear to be novel, both theoretically and
practically. The paper attempts to show how these practices are rooted
in the normative and highly institutionalized nature of the CdD.
The paper concludes with a discussion of those aspects of HRD best practice
which could be learned form the CdD and some implications of the case for
of off-the-job training;
of movement and change;
of support available to learners from full-time and retired workers;
systems of mentoring, including near-peer and peer mentoring.
presented at the 6th international conference on HRD research and practice
across Europe: Human resource development - addressing the value. Leeds
25-27 May 2005. (Abstract; full paper incl. in CD-ROM).