Every fourth Frenchman under 25 has no job. The reasons are deeply rooted in the French education system: it encourages elites, but poorly prepared prior to the working world. To real reform, the policy previously dared not ran - and the problems are complex.
By Anna-Mareike Krause and Gregor Taxacher for tagesschau.de
President François Hollande chose strong words: 2013 should the "year of the great battle for jobs" are, he said. And promised to reverse by the end of the unemployment curve.
Indeed, there is an urgent need. Unemployment in France at the end of 2012 was more than ten percent. For nearly two years, unemployment is rising steadily in France, the number of people without jobs in October 2012 had already exceeded the three million mark, now it is 3.1 million. This mainly affects young and old people.
Youth unemployment in France is above the EU average.
"The mood among young people is rather pessimistic"
27 percent of young French men and women, more than one in four under 25 is unemployed. For comparison: In Germany, the youth unemployment rate is at 8.1 percent. "The mood among the young people in France is rather pessimistic," says Margaret Riegler Poyet of the Franco-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
It was, among other things to the campaign promises of Hollande to introduce a contract between generations, the "Contract of the Generations". He has already met: Small and medium enterprises, where a more than 57-year-old is at least three years for a patent under-25s will now receive 2,000 euros per month per subscriber - ie 4,000 euros per tandem. Firstly, by developing the jobs for older workers are retained, to create new jobs for the other younger.
Anyone who has a job is secured
Hollande in April 2012: During the campaign, he promised to tackle the issue of youth unemployment.For the French labor market is inflexible - and thus less transparent to the next generation. "The unions have long fought for those who already had jobs. To those they have secured a good job security, why seek in France all for a permanent contract," said Dominik Grillmayer, political scientist at the German-French Institute in Ludwigsburg. "The boys, however, are kept for years in precarious jobs. Lacking the middle way."
The reform failed in a wave of protests
Attempted such a middle ground already the previous President Nicolas Sarkozy in part: His labor laws aimed at a pro-employer liberalization, should facilitate the settings. Thus the force for ten years 35-hour week was de facto abolished by flexible overtime regulations.
For adolescents up to two years should sample contracts are introduced.Sarkozy saw it as a relief for the entry into the labor market, many individuals are a growing social insecurity. The reform failed in a wave of protests. "France has a high potential demographics, a relatively young population," says Grillmayer. "But the district with the highest proportion of youth are the poor suburbs. And the young people there are trained worst and have the least chance."
Youth unemployment in the suburbs: 42 percent
In the officially "sensitive urban zones" titled banlieues youth unemployment is as high as 42 percent. There was sparked in the autumn of 2005, the protest of a generation. "Génération Précaire" they called themselves, "precarious generation". For weeks, young people took to the streets, from demonstrations were riots.
Sarkozy, then interior minister nor responded initially with a call for "Karcher cleaners" against the "scum" . As president, he then promised improvement, called the 2008 publicity migrant Fadela Amara Minister of State for Urban Policy and announced a "Marshall Plan for the suburbs" under the title "Hope banlieue". Yet little has been done: Social Worker jobs were cut, blocks demolished and rebuilt or renovated. The hoped-for social mix presented himself not.
Nicolas Sarkozy during the riots in 2005 visit to the police in Evreuxat Toulouse 7 November 2005, the eleventh night of riots in France
An old, elite-creating education system
All these measures, however, do not meet the core of the problem. Because the lies deeply rooted in the French education and training system. The French education system dates back to the reign of Napoleon. 85 percent of all French pupils of an age to leave the school with a bachelor's degree, graduating from high school. For comparison: In Germany, there were in 2010 about 49 percent - including skilled graduates. And while in France the majority of high school graduates completing a course of study, there are in Germany only about 30 percent of an age group.
"Manual work always associated with school failure"
From the German perspective to the established three-tier school system, it is difficult to understand that it may have something disreputable to take an apprenticeship. In France, it is different.
Take an apprenticeship in France, mainly those who have no or only managed a low degree. "Because the manual work is always associated with school failure, it has for many an unattractive image," says Margaret Riegler Poyet of the Franco-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "So many young people do not come up with the idea to get an education - even if they leave school without a diploma."
"Companies do not feel responsible"
Young people in France. The transition from school to work is more difficult there than in other countries."France lacks a dual education system," says Grillmayer. "The transition from school or the study to work is to deal with in France is much more difficult than in Germany. While those who have elite schools have graduated, no problems finding a job. But they are a professional prepared poorly . "
In centralized France alone, the state is responsible for the education of its youth. Companies pay a training levy since 1925 and they expect it to young people who are trained and ready for immediate use at work are."The company does not feel responsible, but they are also not sufficiently involved in the conception of education," said Riegler Poyet.
"There are approaches for years to reform this system. But instead of changing structures, the policy pays in France prefer premium for hiring low-skilled young people," criticizes Grillmayer. François Hollande also wants to create by the end of 2014 150.000 so-called "future jobs", "Emplois d'avenir", subsidized jobs for young people with no qualifications. "This is fiscally problematic," says political scientist Grillmayer, "and also does not change the situation.