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Training: Know everything about apprenticeship

Praised for its relevance and effectiveness, apprenticeship knows little about the crisis. Continuously increasing since 2016, this form of training, which favors the immersion of students in the professional world, is clearly progressing. An anti-crisis remedy?

A unique method for an infinite number of choices

Apprenticeship is one of the two forms of work-study contracts (the other being the professionalization contract) which make it possible to combine theoretical courses and practical work with an employer. This system is open to a very large public, since it concerns people aged 16 to 30, or even beyond for certain specific audiences (preparation for a higher diploma, disabled worker, business creation project, sportsman of high level). Likewise, adolescents can start an apprenticeship from the age of 15, under school status, in a vocational high school or an apprenticeship training center.

Many courses integrate this type of training and allow to prepare all the existing state diplomas, from the CAP and bac pro to higher education diplomas such as the BTS, the BUT (which follows the DUT at the start of the 2021 school year), the professional license and the master’s or master’s degree in engineering or business schools. It is also possible to claim through this means a title registered in the National Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP).

A foothold in working life

The apprentice usually signs a two-year contract with the host company. The duration can reach three or four years in certain exceptional cases. In order for his training to be balanced, the legislation requires that the part of theoretical courses represent at least 25% of the apprenticeship period. However, the form depends on each course: it can be for example two days at the training center (CFA) and three days in a company, one week in each, or even a full month before alternating. In any case, since the apprentice spends a lot of time in the field, it is normal that he is paid for his work. Here again, the law sets standards. Count between 400 euros and the amount of the minimum wage for the first year of the contract, depending on the age of the apprentice.

As for the choice of the host company, it is vast. A multitude of sectors of activity indeed support apprenticeship, especially since the State does not skimp on financial assistance for the recruitment of young people. Current aid covers between 80 and 100% of the salary of an apprentice under 26 in the first year. At the top of the list, the retail trade, the construction and public works sector, the food industries, the hotel and catering industry and the automotive sector (trade and repair) recorded the highest number of contracts in 2020, d ‘after the annual report established by the Ministry of Labor.

To inquire

Several institutional platforms can help you find the training that’s right for you. First of all, there is it is the official portal for Alternance set up by the State. In particular, young people can look for training, contract offers and obtain a simulation of the remuneration to which they are entitled. Another platform, Onisep guides candidates there to succeed in their professional training. Finally,, recently launched, provides employment integration rates according to the course.


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