VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview

France  [7]  Review of VET/HRD research

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Current VET/HRD research

There is no VET research specialised institution in France. Most researchers are distributed across laboratories, research centres and universities. An inquiry made by the CDFT (Cnam) allowed to identify 160 laboratories and 360 researchers working on subjects dealing with VET and HRD. 

VET research has the particularity to be organised via practical fields and not within a discipline. Apart from the case when VET research clearly appears as an intended policy of a laboratory or of a research centre, the demands for VET research are rarely formulated in that way by society. As Pierre Caspar wrote, they come out of problems to be solved, dissatisfactions or more fundamental economic or social questions. 

The researchers who have been selected for the ERO Base are involved in national and transnational projects with funding for their realisation. (The yearly report of the DARES gives the information on these projects as well as the database of Céreq). Most of them target the improvement of the system of VET. The major political reforms are often followed by surveys, evaluations, and sometimes researches. However, this image of VET-HRD research cannot be considered as completely exact because some researches are carried out by isolated researchers belonging to various disciplinary fields. Those projects, even if new specialised periodicals have been edited (Savoirs, Distances et savoirs), suffer from a lack of visibility.

Future VET/HRD research

Over the coming year, there will be a need for evaluating the public employment and training programme as well as for following up the effects of the reforms. The 'social cohesion plan' (January 18th 2005) and the 'urgency plan for employment' (June 2005) contain many dispositions such as new types of contracts, measures for the employment of young people and older workers, development of apprenticeship and alternative training. All these measures will certainly be studied in order to measure the effects and to recommend adaptations. 

The effects of the decentralisation policy are likely to be analysed at national and regional levels.

The discrimination linked to sex and age will also be among the important matters of investigation. 

Besides, in the pedagogical and methodological fields, the use of internet and other open learning methods have already been studied a lot and are likely to continue to be present in the research programmes of science education research laboratories. 

Professional didactics, work analysis, activity analysis and training are also very present in adult training research and should remain important research topics. 

On the HRD side, much attention is paid to the development of competencies of workers and their professionalisation in specific sectors - the care sector (service à la personne) - as well as in the social sector. These sectors are regarded as employment providers for the future. 

Cereq and its network of associated centres, which is the most important institution producing studies and researches on VET/HRD, will continue to be very much involved in European researches and seminars with European organisations. Presently, this centre, with the Dares and the laboratory 'Work and mobility' are conducting important preparatory work for two European investigations dealing with adult formal or non formal training practices: AES (Adult education survey) and CVTS 3.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report France (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO