Formation Emploi (in English), n° 131, October 2015, 209 p.

The vocational baccalauréat 30 years on

Published on
13 October 2015

In the most recent issue of Formation Emploi, a number of researchers explore the many facets of this vocational qualification, which was introduced in 1985. Does the vocational bac produce professionals? Does it contribute to the promotion and development of training for future workshop technicians, as originally envisaged? Has it made a major contribution to achieving the goal of ‘80% of each age cohort passing the bac’ that was much proclaimed when it was first introduced? It’s a fact that the number of high school students taking the vocational bac is now greater than the number taking the technological bac. With more than540,000 high school studentsand 63,000 apprentices in 2013, it occupies a notable place within the education system.

Vocational Baccalaureate

Which are the effects of the reform of the professional baccalauréat on the pathways of the vocational high schools pupils?

Pierre-Yves Bernard et Vincent Troger

The reform accentuated the intentions of pursuing in higher education. These intentions are mainly directed towards courses of technical studies. But the reform created also new splits according to the social resources and the training sector. Some students integrate higher education successfully, others alternate precarious employment and trainings more or less qualifying. This research also makes possible to revisit the main sociological models devoted to vocational education.


 Is Vocational high school diploma really vocational? One example from the electrotechnical field.

Josiane Paddeu et Patrick Veneau

The vocational high school diploma aimed to increase the status of vocational education, particularly with the institution of sandwich courses. However, an investigation of teacher’s assessment practices stresses the technological nature of vocational high school teaching. This technological nature appears through the focus teachers put on technical system study during practical examinations. The way teachers depreciate concrete aspects of work while assessing workplace learning outcomes shows this technological nature too.


 Educational inequality in sandwich courses. Two variations of literacy in agricultural education.

Laure Minassian

The sandwich courses are often recommended to help short comers in more mainstream schools. But the effects of these devices are-there those expected? Two types of sandwich courses in agricultural education are compared. The analysis covers ninety records written by students at different points in their training. The framework, inspired by the current of new literacies studies, is used to investigate some relations between the uses of writing in these two institutions, types of pupils’ types and educational inequality.


 To learn a job or to continue studies in the higher education? The pupils of professional high school in the face of the reform of the vocational high school diploma three years.

Aziz Jellab

Created to bring up the levels of qualification and meet the needs in workforce in certain professional domains, the vocational high school diploma allows more and more the continuation of studies in the higher education. By mobilizing a qualitative survey of ground led with pupils preparing a vocational high school diploma or a BTS (two years technical degree), the article aims at putting in perspective the evolutions inferred by the vocational high school diploma on the relationship in the knowledges and the commitment in higher education. If the vocational high school diploma participates in the school ascent of a part of the graduates, it risks to lose of its professional legitimacy as progresses the part of the professional holders of high school diploma among the students.


 The weight of family relathionships in the geographical mobility of young people registered for vocational baccalaureate.

Alain Thalineau et Florian Hot

Nowadays, mobility (both daily and residential) prevails as a must-have asset for any individual aiming for their occupational integration. But how do the students taking vocational baccalaureate in the Centre Region consider the possibility of a departure or an estrangement from the family group to get a first job? A quantitative survey has been carried out on 536 students and an analysis of 55 biographical interviews has been achieved. They both give prominence to a connection between an aspiration for professional mobility, the strength of relationships towards the family group and the position of parents regarding academic standards.


 About skilled workers with a vocational baccalaureate diploma. A new “elite of outcast students”?

Séverine Misset

This paper is based on a survey conducted within a French automotive company. It shows that skilled workers who graduated a vocational baccalaureate diploma (baccalauréat professionnel) tend to consider positively their educational pathways and professional positions. The hysteresis effect mentioned about previous cohorts of graduates may have disappeared. Although they were supposed to behave as part of middle management, this study shows they are reluctant to pass down managerial standards.


 Vocational baccalauréat holders holding onto their dreams on the pont des Arts?

Magali Danner et Christine Guégnard

 In the context of the scope of the possibilities of higher studies, prep art schools are a novel choice for youths, even more so for those with a vocational baccalauréat. Atypical students in atypical classes, their presence begs the questions: why do they choose these studies, what are their goals and what do expect of this preparatory year? The determinantsof the choices of these youths, who are invisible in the statistical sense, are discussed from the point of view of their representations.


Some key figures

  • 31%of people with the baccalauréat hold the vocational bac (2015)
  • 33 %of those holding the vocational baccalauréatin 2013 embarked on short HE courses or full university degrees (compared with 17% in 2000)


The vocational baccalauréat 30 years on
The « Documentation française »
Formation Emploi , n° 131 , 2015 , 209 p.
Price 24,50 €
Only abstracts are in English, texts are in French.


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The vocational baccalauréat 30 years on, Formation Emploi (in English), n° 131, 2015, 209 p.