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What the French Think About…

Wednesday 17 January 2007

A round-up of some recent French poll findings in which the French say what they think about their health service, French builders, work and life, schools and their 'social model'.

French Health Service

In a poll carried out by Louis Harris for Figaro and AG2R Prévoyance, 83% of French think their system of health care is the best in the world.

Nevertheless, 80% consider the system does not offer equal treatment, but only 45% are prepared to increase their contributions to reduce inequality. The majority judge that the first priority should be to reduce administration costs.

A substantial 80% think their costs will increase in the next few years, although only 56% think that health costs are currently an important component of the household budget.

French Artisans

In a poll carried out by 'Ipos' for the Banque Populaire, the profession of artisan is an attractive one for most French, and a source of satisfaction to those who have chosen it as a profession.

The artisan most known by the French was confectioner («chocolatier»), followed by painter and decorator and florist. The least well known were removal specialists and paramedics.

Amongst artisans themselves, 69% state they are satisfied with their job, with 65% optimistic about their future.

Those in the building profession were the most confident about their future (72%) and grocers the least confident (34%).

The main source of their satisfaction is running their own business (37%) followed by a passion for their trade (32%).

The main source of dissatisfaction is the level of social security charges and taxes (74%).

The Purpose of Work

In a poll carried out by 'Ifop' it seems the French are evenly spilt on the principal role of work in their life.

A small minority of 51% think work is primarily a means to develop themselves, whilst 49% consider it is a means to doing what they want to do outside of work.

Those under 25 and those over 65 were in a large majority of believing work was about self-development.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, amongst occupational groups, most managers considered work a means in itself and most workers a means to an end.

French Schools

French parents and teachers were found to have a positive view about French schools in a recent survey carried out by publisher Nathan.

Amongst parents, 77% think schools work well, whilst the figure is 74% for teachers.

A total of 61% of parents are also optimistic about the future of schools, although this opinion is only shared by 52% of teachers.

Nevertheless, a majority of both parent and teachers consider schools function less well today than they was the case 10 years ago. Chief amongst their concerns is deterioration in the level of discipline and in the authority of teachers.

In terms of the future both parents and teachers agree, by a large majority, that the priority should be a reduction in class sizes and an increase in the number of teachers.

Pupil Career Aspirations

In a survey of pupils at the lycée (upper secondary school) carried out by 'Ipos' for the AJE (Association Jeunesse et Entreprises) only 2% of pupils a lycée stated with certainty that it was their intention to start their own business, with 13% stating that they would ‘probably’ do so.

Over 52% of pupils stated they would prefer to join the public sector and 34% stated they wished to become a private sector employee.

French ‘Social Model’

In a survey carried out by 'Ipos' for the professional body for French accountants, 54% of French consider that their social model is not working properly and is in need of change.

Nevertheless, as to the solution, there is very little unanimity. Only a minority of people (30%) would wish to see profound change and 23% would actually prefer to see a strengthening of existing rights.

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