Further Education in France

We love being in France but what we miss is the infrastructure we enjoyed in UK with regard to Further Education. Dating back to the old Mechanic's Institutes Colleges of Further Education provided for ordinary working people the oportunity to study a wide range of subjects at little cost. What do you thhink? There seems little opportunity for young French people to do the same.

yes, there simply isn't hte same range of evening class type activity here and France is way behind the UK on retraining adults or considering mature students as normal. I taught evening classes at the CCI but it means starting at 20h00 so those finishing work at 19h00 can make it, which in turn means finishing at 22h00, a bit late for many when it's up early for work/school run etc. the following morning...!

Thanks for that Tracy. My posting was by way of a comment rather than a search for a course. It was just that while we see the LEP's and the various University courses reported we don't see much evidence of opportunities for adults to learn new skills or simply study for personal fulfilment. Your link to AFPA was very interesting. We both spent quite a significant part of our lives outside our employment pursuing a variety of Further Education courses for the pleasure of learning at our local UK colleges. Sadly for us they are now being squeezed between the ambitions of Head Teachers who seem to think that anyone can teach vocational skills and the Department of Education which believes that Colleges of FE should concentrate solely on a narrow vocational curriculum and that the secondary school is the only place to deliver general education. Adults don't seem to figure other than as fodder for Literacy and Numeracy classes to "upskill" the unemployed.

Have a look at some of the subjects offered by the AFPA, they offer French lessons for foreigners too. I went for free when I was unemployed - and ended up helping out in the English classes!

No, the opportunities are there, David, and the training. I used to live just up the road from a lycée specialised in such training in the heart of "mechanic valley" (Brive to Rodez). Friends teach chaudronnerie at the school, I taught at the IUT in Figeac at a higher level (DUT and Degree) and other friends work in local engineering firms. I've also taught in most of the firms in the Aveyron and all say the same thing - many youngsters can't be bothered and don't want to get their hands dirty. This was proved last year when a mate couldn't recrute locally and in the end he took on 3 portuguese workers...! The biggest problem is that there's almost no financial difference between being a chômeur or being a smicard for many so why bother... the system needs a complete re-think!