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The quality of initial education is a key determinant of the success of the school‐to‐work transition and of the subsequent career path of the young new entrant. Likewise, on‐the‐job training at the start of the working life helps to round out
the knowledge acquired during schooling and to acquire the skills required on the labour market. This chapter raises the following question: does the initial education of French youth provide a good start for a successful career? After a brief description of the structure
of the educational system (Section 1), the chapter presents different performance indicators for the educational system (Section 2) and for the school‐to‐work transition (Section 3). It then examines the main strategies used to improve
the school‐to‐work transition, and in particular to reduce early schoolleaving (Section 3). Finally, the work situations of young people during their studies are considered, as well as opportunities for training young workers on the job (Sections
4 and 5).