Young people working and learning in YCW Surveys (1959-1970)

By Laure Machu

In the 1960s, the Young Christian Workers (YCW) conducted a series of surveys on the working conditions, training and vocational orientations of young people from working-class backgrounds. This paper highlights these surveys’ contribution to understanding young people’s relationship to work and training. In addition to the archives that allow us to understand how knowledge was built up, these surveys were conducted alongside militant activities that encouraged the young people to speak out. For working-class youth, their aspirations for further education were not yet focused on the baccalauréat, but rather on technical education, with expectations of gaining genuine vocational skills.

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