The Birth of the Apprenticeship Tax (1890–1925): A French Approach to Financing Technical Education


  • Stéphane Lembré University of Lille



apprenticeship, technical education, legislation, employers, taxation


Envisaged at the beginning of the twentieth century as a reaction to the perception of an “apprenticeship crisis,” the development of technical education in France was regulated after the First World War by the Astier Law passed in 1919. However, this development, particularly in the form of schools and courses, required resources that the law did not provide. The creation of the apprenticeship
tax in 1925 was a response to this problem and was based on various projects and debates that had arisen before the war concerning the respective roles of employers’ representatives and the State. In this article, this tax is placed in the international context of choices in the management of technical education in order to examine the British precedent. It reflects the power issues at stake in the control of this form of education and introduces an original French approach to its financing and governance.