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Élargir la formation professionnelle et la rendre plus efficace

Élargir la formation professionnelle et la rendre plus efficace

Pierrette Sartin

Volume : 33-4 (1978)


The Widening of Vocational Training and Efficiency

This article pertains to the question of recurrent education and training and is based on the example of French policy.

It is to be noted right from the start that education has become an imperative of our time. It is necessary at all levels of hierarchy. Even not long after going out of school, young people are sometimes overcome by the evolution of methods and processes of manufacturing, and the older people need recycling even more.

This situation caused a proliferation of bodies of complementary formation in France where we can find more than 4,000 of these, private or public. We can, however, see there something that cuts both ways. Recurrent education is not a panacea that can solve all problems because it can hide other gaps on one hand, and nobody should let infatuation take place, on the other hand.

To be successful, any undertaking in education must be preceded by psychological formation, which is often neglected. The experience has proven it; even if the formula dates back from quite far in the past, the balance sheet appears quite deceiving. A study made by the DECD in France and elsewhere in Europe has proven that results are far to concur with the efforts put in. Causes for this state of fact are numerous: absence of a deep thinking that results into an anarchic development, lack of common objectives among interested partners, importance of not limiting this training to the management but also to less privileged groups in order to cope with social gaps, necessity to take care not only of the professional training but also of the cultural blooming.

The French law has a good grasp of the deepness of this question. Its application, however, could be further improved because the immediate goals set forth are to provide the enterprise with a manpower fitted to meet its needs and the workers do not succeed to get out of the tunnel of their strictly professional life. From there results a state of scepticism and indifference that leads to neglect the psychological preparation and the appropriate diagnosis, rather than identifying not only the immediate needs but also the long-term requirements that remain underestimated. It happens also that the newly-formed executive finds himself in a painful situation with his disconcerted colleages resulting into an incapacity to put forth reforms and in discouragements following failure. A sympathetic interest must then be taken in the difficulties of insertion of the newly « formed » and in avoiding the development of a frustrating atmosphere, factor of claims and disengagements. —

Any training must obviously lead to a promotion which is a pledge of efficiency. The executive or any other salaried employee who attends further training has the right to certain rewards because of the efforts he had to put in.

After taking all that into consideration, it has to be kept in mind that commitment in the way of complementary training or retraining involves a state of conflict between the individual and the management, the latter being reluctant to perspectives of change.

In order to be successful, the complementary training must be offered to a motivated subject and adapted to his potential. Growth of knowledge must be on all fours with the development of the personality because there is the key not only to give the enterprise better productivity, but also to social promotion and quality of life.

When we consider the objectives of the Law on permanent education, we are compelled to notice that there has been a deviation and that there are stillgreat efforts to make to get from this training the benefits equal to the money invested in it. There has often been a misuse of the funds invested for this purpose and the amounts spent have not profited equally to all categories. Whereas these moneys were earmarked to help the people of the lowest scale to get ahead, they have rather been used for executives and technicians. Employees of small firms are also disadvantaged.

If we want the recurrent education to reach its optimal efficiency, leaders of enterprises must get involved with more determination and realize that it is not only a matter of acquiring further knowledge or developing particular abilities but rather of modifying men's attitudes and behaviour in front of their work and of the new requirements of workers.