With the rise of the CAP (certificat d’aptitude professionnelle), young people in the 1950s to 1970s had a new training option after their compulsory primary education: they could continue their education and specialise in a wide variety of trades. However, not everyone could pursue a CAP: there were strict prerequisites relating to family situation and primary school results, which had to be good because admission to the CAP was selective. The CAP definitely had long-lasting effects on the career paths of young people who earned it, with frequent intergenerational mobility, but these effects appear to have been stronger for men than for women. The CAP also helped farmers’ children become wage earners and enabled some young women to remain in the labour market even after marriage and childbirth.
By Gilles Moreau