Work-study in France

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship contract is an employment contract which legally binds together an employer and an apprentice, while providing the apprentice with the status of employee. The apprentice is paid a rate corresponding to a predetermined percentage of the French minimum wage, depending on the apprentice’s age and academic level.

Work-study programs are offered for both the on-campus and distance learning programs.

Conditions for becoming an apprentice

Age

The apprentice must be between 16 and 25 years of age at the start date of the contract. However, since January 2017, the age limit has been extended to 30 years.

Nationality

The candidate must be a citizen of the European Union or hold a valid work permit. For students who are not EU citizens and have already been enrolled in a French university, the application for a work permit must be made by the employer to the French Foreign Labor Office, as well as the Regional Directorate of Enterprise, Competition, Consumer Affairs, Labor, and Employment.

Why choose apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship training in CAWEB Master’s combines theory and practical experience throughout the academic year.

The apprentice is paid, which allows him/her to finance his/her studies. Therefore, he/she maintains the advantages of keeping student status, while working as an employee in the company.

This path has the advantage of facilitating the professional integration of students. An apprentice has better chances of being hired at the end of his or her contract. At the end of his/her apprenticeship, the student also benefits from the significant professional experience he/she has gained.

The cost of this training is paid by the employer and the government of the Alsace Region of France. Thus the apprentice does not pay any specific fees and is also exempt from the university registration fees.

Splitting the apprentice's time between university and workplace

On-campus program

In the first semester, students start the week with 2,5 days of class, after which they spend 2,5 days working in their host companies.
Then this pattern is reversed during the second semester starting in February – 2.5 days of work and 2.5 days of class.
Companies can assign students with more important tasks than during an internship. Thus they can acquire more experience.

Distance learning programme

During the entire course period from September to mid-June, the student works in the company for two full days (Mondays and Tuesdays) and two half days (Thursday and Friday mornings).
Distance learning courses take place three days a week: from 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
Three times a year, students can also attend a group meeting in Strasbourg. These three-day groups take place in October, March and June

Monitoring the apprentice in the host company

The apprenticeship contract requires the creation of an apprenticeship journal. The purpose of this journal is to allow for academic and administrative monitoring of apprentices, in conjunction with host companies and the CFA University of Alsace, and must set out the apprentice’s training plan.

At the beginning of the apprenticeship contract (around November), the University tutor and host company draw up a training plan in the presence of the apprentice, which is subsequently co-signed by all three 3 parties.
The training plan determines:

  • Tasks and missions of the apprentice in the host company
  • The provisional calendar
  • Skills to be acquired
  • The rate the apprentice will be payed

During this first appointment, an initial report is made on:

  • Progress and development of the tasks entrusted to the apprentice
  • Main difficulties encountered and solutions to be implemented
  • Behavior of the apprentice
  • In-company tutor’s observations
  • Apprentice’s observations
  • University tutor’s observations

Before the end of the apprenticeship (towards the end of June), a second report, containing the same criteria, will be required. It will enable the University tutor, in-company tutor, and apprentice to take stock of the work done within the host company.

For more information about apprenticeship in France, you can download the following resources:

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