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Vocational bachelor graduates in France: labour market integration and social mobility

Julien Calmand (Département Entrées et Evolutions dans la Vie Active (DEEVA), Centre for Research on Education, Training and Employment (Céreq), Chargé d’études au, Marseille, France)
Jean-François Giret (National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Institute on Sociology and Economics of Education (IREDU), University of Burgundy, Dijon, France)
Christine Guégnard (Centre for Research on Education, Training and Employment (Céreq), Institute on Sociology and Economics of Education (IREDU/CNRS), Dijon, France)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 1 July 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

In France, the vocationalization of higher education has resulted in an increase in the number of graduates and created new opportunities. The access of these vocational bachelor graduates to the labour market raises the issue of their professional prospects amid changing economic and social circumstances. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

To provide insights into these issues, the employment situation of bachelor graduates during the first years of active working life will be compared with other tertiary graduates entering the labour market in the same years, using econometric models that estimate the effects of vocational courses “all other things being equal”, incorporating a range of individual characteristics.

Findings

Overall, vocational bachelor graduates experienced fewer difficulties in seeking to enter the labour market during difficult economic circumstances. They did not achieve upward social mobility with a lower probability of obtaining a managerial/professional occupation three years after graduation. These results confirm that diplomas continue to play a central and hierarchized role in France.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is to highlight the labour market transition of vocational bachelor graduates during a period of economic crisis, inquiring on the social benefit of this new diploma in France: what were the impacts of the changing economic conditions and influx of vocational bachelor graduates on their labour market transition and their chances of upward social mobility?

Keywords

Citation

Calmand, J., Giret, J.-F. and Guégnard, C. (2014), "Vocational bachelor graduates in France: labour market integration and social mobility", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 536-552. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-05-2013-0102

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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