Lifelong training: innovative practices in the vocational training sector in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

22nd August 2022

The COMORELP project aims to improve our understanding and benchmarking of existing vocational education policies and practices. The approach of the French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is characterised by a focus on “formation tout au long de la vie”, namely lifelong training. Indeed, the region shows a strong interest in vocational training: while the region counts more than 350 000 students, it also reached more than 81 000 apprentices in 2021. As a partner operating in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, FREREF had the opportunity to examine more closely some initiatives in the region which are relevant for COMORELP.

In-company tutor training by IUT Lyon 2

In order to better accompany the students during their in-company period, the IUT (« Institut Universitaire de Technologie » i.e. Institute of technologies in higher VET education) propose a training session for their in-company tutor. During this one-day session, tutors have the opportunity to meet the full pedagogical team and share their experience with other tutors in smaller groups, and they are trained to evaluate the competences developed by their students. This helps to recognise the competences developed by the tutors as they are achieving an extra task by managing the students.

7300 alternance contracts were signed since the creation of the IUT in 1992, meaning that as many tutors were accompanied.

The dual system always focuses on students, and it is quite rare that in-company tutors have the opportunity to reflect on and to discuss how the students are learning and what they are learning with this experience. This initiative allows to have a better common understanding on the evaluation of the competences developed by the student. It is also an opportunity for in-job persons to go back to the school, may give them the willingness to join another training program and to experience a lifelong learning experience.

The most important success factor of this initiative relies in the ability to create strong links between the school and the company in order to install the mutual trust that will allow the tutors’ training to happen.

NUUM Factory – Digital training centre

The NUUM Factory is a digital school, providing qualifications from EQF level 6 to 7, created by a business Union and targeting Higher Education students who will work in dual learning. Based on these stakeholders, the content and programme of the school are strongly related to companies’ concerns.

The strong link with companies, which are board members and are involved in the cursus design on the crucial topic of digital transformation, gives the school a key role in the training of new employees for very small-, small- and intermediate-size companies of the territory.

The school will soon integrate the former Hôtel de Région Rhône-Alpes, as the region is also supporting the school. The cost of the programme remains a limit regarding equal access to this opportunity, even though in some cases the company in which the students will make their alternance is paying for part of it.

The success factor of this school is the fact that companies work together to create their own school to help them in the digital transition, and that they play a in important part in the design of the content of the courses.

Promo 16-18 AFPA (Agency for Adult Vocational Training)

This programme, run by insertion bodies such as local youth agencies and employment agencies, is publicly funded since 2022 and is still running in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It aims at providing NEETs (persons which are Nor in Education, Employments or Training) between 16 and 18 years old with a 4-months training programme in order to foster their self-confidence and help them to find their own pathway.

Young people’s expenses are covered (they have free lunch, free transport to the training centre, and they do not lose any other allocations) and they can test different jobs, work on their personal pathway and prepare the theoretical part of the driving license during 13 weeks.

The Promo 16-18 programme manages to bring some NEETs back to an institutional path that will help them to find a qualification programme or a job. This can also be seen as the first step into a process of reconnecting with institutions, which find it difficult to reach NEETs. On the one hand, this programme is very qualitative and those who benefit from it receive consistent support, but on the other hand, the means to provide this support can limit the of number of people benefiting from the programme.

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