Training pathways and career trajectories

Impact of socio-cultural background on trajectories


During their first three years in the labour market, almost one young person out of six in the cohort gained rapid access to stable employment. Even among those with five years' higher education or PhDs, the children of managers and executives (cadres) are more likely to follow trajectories leading them to stable employment.
The impact of social background on qualifications obtained has repercussions subsequently on labour market entry trajectories. Those young people whose parents are both managers or executives (cadres) had significantly more advantageous trajectories.

Over the cohort as a whole, 73% of this group gained access to stable employment, while only 4% of them were confined to the margins of the labour market. For those young people whose parents were blue or white-collar workers, these shares were 56% and 13% respectively. The type of qualification does not smooth out these differences linked to social background. Even at the most elevated levels of higher education (two-year master's, grandes écoles and PhDs), the children of cadres are more likely to follow trajectories leading to stable employment. The only exception is found at the 3-year bachelor's/1-year master's level, where a lower share of this group gained access to stable employment, but they were more heavily represented among those who returned to education.

Socio-cultural background had little effect on the education-to-work transition for holders of bac+2/3 qualifications in health and social work.

At all levels of qualification and regardless of gender, young people from immigrant backgrounds (14% of the cohort) had more chaotic starts to their working lives than the others. Fewer of them accessed stable employment and they were more likely to follow trajectories that confined them to the margins of the labour market, characterised as they were by long-term unemployment or inactivity.

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