An encouraging first assessment, but can do even better. Just over a year after its implementation, the 1is March 2022, the youth engagement contract (CEJ) has benefited more than 300,000 people. This matches the revised target set by then Prime Minister Jean Castex – he initially aimed for 400,000 contracts signed in a year before that figure was revised downwards.
Among the latest social reforms of Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term, the CEJ is aimed at 16-25 year olds and under 30s with disabilities who are not in education, work or training, and who struggle to find sustainable employment. The young person who signs a contract of engagement enrolls in a course of six to twelve months (even eighteen in certain cases) and commits himself with his adviser of insertion in an accompaniment of fifteen to twenty hours per week for which he may receive a monthly allowance. Like other social benefits, this is increased by 1.6% on Saturday 1is April to reach around 530 euros maximum.
As of January 31, 301,725 young people had joined the scheme, 188,715 in local missions and 113,010 at Pôle emploi. This corresponds more or less to the system that the CEJ replaced, the Youth Guarantee, which, on the other hand, only concerned young people registered in local missions. More than half (54%) of the CEJs signed were signed by young people between the ages of 18 and 21 and 44% by young people without a diploma. In terms of professional integration, the government claims that, among the first cohort of the CEJ – those who signed a contract in March 2022 – 76% had access to a job within nine months of their entry, 63% to a job a month or more and 43% in a lasting job.
Figures to put into perspective, according to the president of the commission for the integration of young people at the Orientation Council for Youth Policies, Antoine Dulin: “When we talk about employment, it can be a contract of only two days and, for sustainable employment, it means a CDD of more than six months, so you have to be vigilant. » The latter also alerts the public concerned. As the setting up of the CEJ was done at a forced pace during the first six months, “the advisers of the local missions and Pôle emploi have suffered the plasters” and therefore did not focus on young people furthest from employment.
“The goal has not been reached on this side, we have not caught up with the young people who have broken away”, specifies Antoine Dulin, who also puts forward ways to improve the system. First of all, to provide signatories with access to various rights (complementary solidarity health care, reduced rates in transport and culture, etc.) as for beneficiaries of the active solidarity income (RSA); increase the average duration of contracts to guarantee better access to housing in particular; simplify the administrative procedures of integration advisers or even allow the payment of the allowance to young people in rupture from the start of the process without waiting for the signing of the employment contract.
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