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A new day has come for vocational training in French companies thanks to the 5th March 2014 law

What is the impact of this new legislation on vocational training in French companies?

Blended learning, Compte personnel de formation (CPF), DIF, Elearning, Entretien professionnel , Formation 2014, Instances paritaires, job interview, Loi du 5 mars 2014, Loi sur la formation professionnelle , Personal account of training, Qualification accreditation for work experience, Validation des Acquis de l'Expérience (VAE), vocational training ,

“It is a cultural revolution” : that is how Michel Sapin was qualifying the law n°2014-288 relating to vocational training, employment and social democracy, promulgated the 5th March, 2014 and published in the official notification in which public notices appear – quasi the equivalent of the Hansard in the UK and the Federal Register in the USA – the following day. The public opinion concurs that this law indicates a change of direction, appearing as a structural reform. Thus, what is the impact of this new legislation on vocational training in French companies?

The first lines of the terms of the law set the tone: “A personal account of training is opened for any person aged of at least sixteen years old, working or seeking a job or with project of course and professional insertion or welcomed in an establishment and service of help by the work mentioned […] in the social actions and families laws. “ (Art. L. 6323-1). This account, which comes into effect the 1st January, 2015, is opened to employees, including those that are in apprenticeship, and to job seekers. The retirement puts seals on this account of training, that replaces the former individual right of training. Besides, it considerably differs from the latter as it encourages more qualifying trainings (see notably Art. L. 6323-16.), registered by the joint bodies, such as the Commission paritaire nationale pour l’Emploi (CPNE)  or the Comité paritaire interprofessionnel national pour la formation professionnelle et l’emploi (COPINEF). Qualification accreditation for work experience could also be “eligible to the personal account of training”. Also, the personal account of training is significantly singular because it works with a dematerialized free system managed by a system that is external to the company, in this particular case, the Deposit and consignment office. Finally, if it can be credited with a maximum of 150 hours per year normally, it is possible to complete it beyond, under certain conditions.

Nonetheless, the landmark novelty of the law dwells the deletion of the “0.9” contribution, that makes the budget allocated to training go from 1.9% of the gross wage bill to 1%, for the companies counting more than 10 employees. But, contrary to what one may think, this deletion does not spell the end of the training plan. It invites to train better, to manage more efficiently the training plans. In brief, the challenge for the French companies will be to favor, more than before, quality on quantity. From which it is so important for companies to bet on blended learning – mix of an on line learning with some training structured modules and another part in face-to-face session, generally dealing with practical training –, that is promoted by SCIO Conseil et Formation. This type of training, beyond keeping its finger on the pulse of contemporary society, allows a reduction of 30% of the face-to-face session, which generates, as a matter of fact, considerable savings. That is a notable gain regarding this new legislation.

Moreover, the creation of a compulsory “job interview” every two years in every company, without exception, enhances that this law is not about ostracizing the training plan. Indeed, this “job interview” between the employer and the employee aims at mentioning the career prospects, the different possibilities of qualification and training.

One shall notice other novelties such as the possibility of signing an apprenticeship contract as a permanent contract, the creation of a professional development consulting and of periods of immersion in real-life professional situations. Be that as it may be, needless to say that this law is far from being a tiny little one, as the French weekly newspaper L’Express underlined it, past 17th March (La loi sur la formation professionnelle et l’entreprise, Dominique Perez). Otherwise, in the same article, Philippe Bernier pointed out the fact that the companies, at least the biggest one, were trying to “anticipate” the reform, notably through conferences and training sessions of all kinds.

Does the quite warm welcome given to this law be a sign of its future “success” in the French companies? The die has not yet been cast, especially as some decrees declined by professional sectors are going to come along the law. One shall thus keep staying aware of the coming changes.