Medef suggested to other employers’ and trade union organizations that they meet on September 25 and October 2 to take stock of the training reform; a subject on the menu of the consultations that Elisabeth Borne will undertake with the social partners.

The subject of vocational training was supposed to be definitively settled by the “big bang” of the “professional future” law of 2018.

Highlighted as a major issue to limit the shock of the crisis caused by Covid-19 on employment, vocational training is making a noticeable return to the agendas. The invitation arrived in the mailboxes in the middle of the week. Medef invites employer and union organizations to two meetings of the “Joint monitoring group Training”, September 25 and October 2.

This is obviously not unrelated, the subject also appears in the work plan sent by the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, to the social partners a few days ago. It will be on the menu of one of the three thematic groups which will start at the end of September at the beginning of October, the one devoted to the monitoring of reforms, while a “Social dialogue conference” is to be held in Matignon in the second half of next month.

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Medef’s avenues for retraining employees in the face of the crisis

The subject was supposed to be definitively settled – for this five-year period at least – by the « big bang » of the “professional future” law of 2018, in the words of Elisabeth Borne’s predecessor, Muriel Pénicaud. Based largely on the agreement reached by the social partners almost unanimously (all except the CGT), the executive has completely redesigned the system, reviewing its funding and decision-making circuits.

But the crisis is there. Coupled with long-term partial unemployment, a tool for retraining employees in sectors in difficulty and, always, helping job seekers to bounce back, training has become a key element of the anti-unemployment toolbox.

Shaken certainties

The crisis has also shaken up certain certainties. Medef’s desire to accelerate retraining with its 20 proposals is an example of this. During the last negotiation on training, he demanded the abolition of the CIF and the unions had to fight to obtain the creation of another tool, the CPF transition, but by conceding a reduction of the wing.

We could also cite the fact for the Medef to denounce a system that is too siled by sector and to call for “Organize bridges between sectors of activity” with emphasis on the territorial dimension. “Our proposals were developed in consultation with the branches”, however specifies Patrick Martin, sign of an evolution of the latter.

“Force of proposals”

If he claims to have “A good quality of listening to the government”, the Medef, who exchanged at the beginning of the summer with the CFDT on conversions, wants “The social partners are force of proposals and that they can take clear and shared positions”, specifies the invitation to the meetings of 25 and 2.

The crisis awakens debates that seemed decided. The government has broken the fundraising system of the branches for the benefit of a single operator, France Compétences, where the social partners no longer really have control. It also enshrined training funds for the unemployed and young people within the Skills Investment Plan (PIC).

Not shared

“There is not enough weight given to the social partners in the governance of France competence and the marking of funds is insufficient”, judge Patrick Martin. “We do not succeed in influencing the budgetary trade-offs”, confirms a trade unionist.

As for the employers ‘desire to acquire prescribing power, in particular over the employees’ CPF and the ProA (work-study retraining scheme), if it is through an increase in the support of training, why not; on the other hand, if this calls into question the employee’s freedom of choice, it will not be possible, comments in substance a representative of the latter. Ditto for the employers’ wish to redirect PIC funds towards retraining, which should not be shared. “We will not go into that, we need to strengthen, not reduce the training of the unemployed”, notes this same trade unionist.