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Factsheet for measure FR-2004-1/2454 – measures in France

Prospective observatories on jobs and qualifications

Observatoires prospectifs des métiers et des qualifications (OPMQ)

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2004
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 29 November 2022)

Background information

The national cross-industry agreement of 5 December 2003 called for the implementation of observatories in each occupational sector. The French Law n°2004-391 legally enshrines their existence. Their primary purpose is to help firms anticipate their skill requirements, to support employees in mapping out their career paths and to equip the various actors in an industry with the tools to draw up their employment and training policy. They also analyse and anticipate the impact of economic, technological, regulatory or demographic trends on employment and in terms of training needs.

The social partners at inter-industry level have chosen not to define precisely how these organisations should function (status, remit, funding etc.). As a result there is a wide diversity of such observatories in terms of legal status, composition and even the way the structures are funded. With a few exceptions, the observatories do not have their own separate legal identity. Most of them are described as ‘jointly managed bodies’ that form part of either a jointly administered industry organisation (OPCO) or an employers’ organisation, providing the technical, logistical and human support essential to their functioning.

Content of measure

Although they operate in a variety of different ways, the observatories are very similar in terms of activities and outputs. They generally produce statistical databases, mapping/listing of occupations, surveys and analyses on a wide range of themes including forward-looking jobs and skills management, training, recruitment needs, age management, and certification schemes. Such outputs serve as a basis for drawing up recommendations and formulating actions and practical tools for use by firms and workers in the industry in question. The activities of the observatories can help to clarify the human resource management policy of the firms and contribute to a perspective of anticipating restructuring. In doing so, they act as an interface between the branch and the firms.

Prospective observatories on jobs and qualification exist in many professional branch and their sphere of competence may be national, regional or local. Many of these observatories cover a single professional branch, but some also deal with several professional branches. Their coverage varies from 10 to 450,000 companies and from fewer than 1,000 to 1.5 million jobs.

Use of measure

In 2022, there were 135 observatories in France. Three quarters of the observatories were set up by industry agreements between 2004 and 2006 and the rest from 2007 onwards. Their value in securing the career paths for employees by providing better information and vocational guidance was reaffirmed in another national cross-industry agreement from 2009.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Social partners jointly

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


Such observatories have been set up by social partners, mainly on banch-level (or multi-branch level), through collective agreement.

Views and reactions

Observatories are well supported by social partners that manage them.


  • 05 December 2003: Cross-industry agreement of 5 December 2003 (
  • 07 January 2009: Cross-industry agreement of 7 January 2009 (
  • 25 September 2012: d'Agostino, A. and Delanoe, A. (2012), Occupations and skills observatories: tools for shaping the future, Cereq, Training and Employment, n° 99 (
  • 01 July 2013: d'Agostino, A.(2013), Analyse des outils développés par les Observatoires prospectifs des métiers et des qualifications (
  • 01 November 2021: Céreq - Les observatoires prospectifs des métiers et des qualifications
  • 07 November 2022: Observatoires Prospectifs des Métiers et des Qualifications (OPMQ) (


Eurofound (2022), Prospective observatories on jobs and qualifications, measure FR-2004-1/2454 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.