Fiction – Chronicle of a student in 2032

​October 2032. 7am: As he has every Tuesday since the start of the school year, Brice gets up to go to the CFA. Since September, he’s had a whole new life ahead of him.



Guidance, Education and Training in 2032


​October 2032.

7am: As he has every Tuesday since the start of the school year, Brice gets up to go to the CFA. Since September, he’s had a whole new life ahead of him. He had passed his baccalaureate three years earlier, but that hadn’t done him much good. He had never really felt at home at school. He wasn’t necessarily bad, but he wasn’t one of the best either. He let himself go, and as long as he got by, he didn’t see any point in working any harder. In any case, Brice knew he wasn’t going to study hard. He wasn’t interested. The problem was that he didn’t really know what he was interested in. Maybe that’s why he’d stayed at school so long: it gave him time to think about his future a bit more.



It was this summer that everything changed for Brice. He had accompanied his younger brother to the careers week organised by his secondary school.


After 3 years at lycée, and just as many years of odd jobs and unemployment, he was struck by how quickly the college had changed. It was nothing like the one he had left a few years earlier. Everything was connected now, access to the college was by fingerprint, the classrooms were large and made of glass walls. They were filled with the latest computers, like the one he had at home to play with, as well as virtual reality and mixed reality headsets.

  • "What are all these headsets and computers for?” he asked his brother.

We use them for all sorts of things! We do chemical experiments, we travel inside the human body, we visit all kinds of cultural sites, and we watch historical scenes! It’s like you’re really there!
Brice didn’t reply, not really knowing what to think. It was true that he too used VR headsets at the CFA, but they were used to learn practical skills, not to visit the human body or the Louvre. Still, he was a little envious. He too would have liked to grow up in this college. These classrooms seemed a far cry from the ones he had known, with their rows of tables and whiteboards. Perhaps he would have studied better with all that.

But they weren’t here to remake the world. Today was the start of careers week. It had been set up by the Ministry of Education a few years earlier. At the end of the year, all the pupils came together for several workshops.


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The parents who volunteered came to talk about their daily working lives. Some of them even offered work experience placements to the most motivated. But what Brice’s brother was really interested in was this space where pupils could find out about jobs by practising them. It was a large room divided into several areas. Large posters read “EDUCATION”, “INDUSTRY”, “SCIENCE”, “BUILDING”, “COMPUTING”, “SPORT” and a dozen other words. Each poster represented a different sector of activity. In each of these areas, a number of devices were set up to allow visitors to discover and explore the trades that make up these sectors.


One in particular caught his attention: “Come and experience your future profession”, he read on a sign. He took his little brother by the hand and led him to the workshop. They were in the “BUILDING” sector. Two sacks of cement overlapped, a wheelbarrow full of sand was in the corner with a yellow hard hat at its feet, the kind they use on building sites. They’d pulled out all the stops in terms of decoration.

Brice suggested that his brother give it a try. Around twenty building trades were available to try out. For several dozen minutes, he was able to discover trades such as bricklayer, house painter, electrician and joiner.

While his brother was learning about the building trades, Brice stood a little to one side, his eyes riveted on the stage. He couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness at his brother’s enthusiasm, in stark contrast to his own school experience. He remembered his feelings of disorientation, of not knowing what path to take. This careers day was a revelation for him, an open door to possibilities he had never considered.

Curious, he approached the “Plaquiste” workshop where a virtual reality experience was on offer. It was a first for him, to immerse himself in such a realistic work environment without leaving school. He put on the VR headset and instantly found himself on a virtual building site, surrounded by walls to be plastered and the necessary tools.

In this virtual world, Brice was guided by a voice-over explaining the steps to be followed. He was also helped by instructions and visual aids that guided him in the correct execution of his gestures. He was amazed by the precision of the movements he had to make, manipulating the virtual tools with surprising ease. Each action was accompanied by instructive comments, enabling him to understand the importance of each gesture in the construction process.


What struck Brice was the sensation of total immersion. He could almost feel the weight of the plasterboard, hear the echo of the hammer blows, and see every detail of the site as if he were actually there. This virtual reality experience transformed his perception of the plastering trade, making it tangible, accessible and, above all, exciting.


As he took off his headset, Brice was overcome by a new feeling. It was no longer just a vague idea of a job, but a real experience. He now knew what it felt like to be a plasterer, even in a virtual world, and that feeling made him want to experience it in real life.

This immersion had opened a door to a future he had never envisaged, but which he was now determined to explore.

Over the following weeks, the experiment simmered in his mind. He often found himself thinking back to the sensations of the VR workshop, the way he manipulated the virtual tools, building walls like a real craftsman. The experience had awakened in him a desire to create, a need to do something concrete.

After a period of reflection, during which he delved deeper into his research, Brice decided to enrol at the local Apprentice Training Centre. It was time to start a new chapter in his life. At the start of the new school year, he began his training, ready to plunge into the world of construction.

Over the last few years, the metaverse had finally become something concrete. It was no longer the pipe dream he had been sold for years. It had revolutionised vocational training. Brice discovered that his training included an ambitious project: building a house in the metaverse. This virtual construction site was a collaboration between apprentices from different trades. Bricklayers, electricians, plumbers and, of course, plasterers all worked together, each contributing their expertise to the project.

Brice found himself immersed in this digital world, interacting with other apprentices, learning from their experiences and sharing his own. The project evolved over the months, with each individual contribution forming part of a larger whole. It was a dynamic and interactive learning environment, where mistakes had no real consequences, but offered valuable lessons.

What he appreciated most about the training was the ability to see the impact of his work immediately. In the metaverse, he could apply the skills he had learned in the classroom and in the practical workshop, testing them in a realistic environment. This gave him a tangible idea of what his working life would be like, and reinforced his career choice.

Brice was enjoying his new job. The sense of achievement he felt when he saw the walls he had virtually plastered standing up straight gave him confidence that he had made the right choice. This training wasn’t just preparation for a job; it was an adventure, a discovery of himself and a step towards the future.