APPRENTICESHIPS, A PATH TO VOCATIONAL DEGREES
The work/study format enables practical training that is tuition-free for apprentices while they earn a salary and work towards a vocational certificate or degree that enhances their employability.
Work/study training is a path to gaining professional qualifications. This structure enables apprentices to earn a secondary education vocational degree, a higher education degree or a vocational certificate recognized at the national level and by the industry.
There are two types of work/study contracts, both of which enable trainees to learn new skills.
- Young people aged 16 to 30 (during the school year, for the Ile de France/Paris region) ;
- Certain candidates over the age of 25 (apprentices working towards a degree or higher degree than one they already hold; people recognized as workers with disabilities); people who are creating or taking over a business requiring a degree or certified qualifications; high-level athletes.
- Young people having completed the first level of secondary education (equivalent to junior high school) can sign up for apprenticeships while continuing their education in a vocational high school or an apprenticeship training center if they are aged 15 during the school year.
Vocational training contracts:
Under current French regulations, vocational training candidates must be over 16 and under 26 or, if they are over 26, be registered as a job seeker with the French employment agency (Pôle Emploi), or be receiving the earned income supplement (RSA), a special social solidarity allowance (ASS), an allowance for disabled adults (AAH), or be working under a subsidized employment contract.
Training takes place both in the company for practical training with a tutor or master artisan, and at the partner training establishment for theoretical training.
The work/study schedule varies according to the training organization. It may be three days at the company and two days in the classroom, or two weeks at the company and one week in the classroom, for example.
WORK/STUDY PROGRAM LENGTH
Apprenticeship contracts may range from six months to four years. Vocational training contracts may last six to twelve months (and up to 24 months for certain professions).
Compensation for apprenticeship contracts varies according to the age of the apprentices and increases each time the contract enters another year (in France, between 25% and 78% of the minimum wage).
Compensation for vocational training contracts varies according to the age of the trainee and their level of qualification (between 55% and 85% of the minimum wage in France).
As in any contract, the two parties have reciprocal obligations.
Work/study contracts are employment contracts between an employer and a trainee.
The trainee works for the employer and receives a salary. Trainees are thus covered by employment rules stipulated in applicable labor law, along with measures stipulated in collective bargaining agreements. They are entitled to measures applicable to all employees as well as special measures applicable to young workers.
The contract includes a trial period during which it may be terminated by either the trainee or the employer: this trial period is 45 days for an apprenticeship contract and one month for a vocational training contract.
Beyond this trial period, termination of the contract must be mutually agreed by both parties or be justified due to serious error or misconduct (serious professional error or absence by the trainee, failure to respect labor legislation by the employer).