Doing an apprenticeship in france 5 tips for your search

Getting an education in France: 5 tips for your search

Think about doing your training in France? Then you should inform yourself in advance about the requirements, about the offered training positions and professional qualifications. We explain which training opportunities are offered in the neighboring country and give you some tips for your French application for a training position.

Training in France and Germany

Germany has approximately 1.3 million apprentices, while France has only approx. 490,000 trainees. About two thirds of each generation chooses to go to school in France and take the Baccalaureat (French high school diploma).

In France, an apprenticeship can be completed either in a full-time vocational school or as a traditional apprenticeship in a company. If you are interested in training in France, it is important to find out in advance exactly what the regulations and procedures are, as well as the equivalence of degrees abroad.

Dual education is becoming increasingly popular with young French people as it offers many advantages. It enables trainees to combine their studies with work experience in order to find a place in the working world. But not only students are affected! Career changers can also complete a French training course.

Another advantage of the apprenticeship compared to a traditional degree program is that you will be paid throughout the apprenticeship period. It is even possible that your employer will take you on as a permanent employee when your contract expires.

Following you will find one from created infographic in French, which answers questions about the types of contracts, salaries and job sectors where hiring is most common: Infographic – Focus on job-related training in France

You will not have any disadvantages on the German job market if you complete a full training in France (formation en alternance), because both countries have established a general comparability of professional degrees. For example, a German journeyman's or. Skilled worker diploma comparable to the French Certificat d'aptitude professionnelle (CAP), Brevet professionnel (BP) and Baccalaureat professionel (Bac Pro).

The different degrees in France in detail

CAP – Certificat d'aptitude professionnelle

To obtain a CAP comparable to the German vocational qualification, one must complete a two-year standard training course. This training is geared towards practical employment and can be achieved in two ways: either at a lycee professionnel or at a vocational school (CFA). Thus, the training lasts three years if you start it after the cinquieme and two years if you start it after the troisieme. Short internships organized by the school are partly part of the training.

The second way is through an apprenticeship (apprentissage), with an employment contract in the French company and in an accompanying school (s.u.).

BP – Brevet professionnel

The BP covers entire occupational groups, is more theoretically oriented than the CAP and is equivalent to the French vocational baccalaureate Bac Pro. In Germany it is on a par with the completion of a three to three and a half year apprenticeship.

Bac Pro – Baccalaureat professionel

A Bac Pro can only be obtained if you have previously completed a CAP. Thus the Bac Pro is a further qualification, which can be achieved in a two-year full-school education at a Lycee professionnel. The practical part of the training is guaranteed by mandatory internships (stage) of at least 16 weeks in local companies that work closely with the Lycees professionnels.

With the Bac Pro, you obtain a degree for a specific profession and also have the opportunity to study at a university. In Germany, this qualification corresponds to a qualification acquired through three to three-and-a-half years of standard education.

Requirements for an apprenticeship in France

Legally, as an EU citizen with a valid passport or ID card, you have the right to enter and work in France. Who wants to work longer than three months in France, however, is required to apply to the administrative district (prefecture) for a residence permit and then receives a so-called Carte de sejour. Although this is no longer a legal requirement for EU citizens, it can be very helpful when opening a bank account, taking out insurance or signing a rental contract.

In general, a French apprenticeship lasts one to three years, depending on the chosen profession. If you are between 16 and 30 years old and interested in a profession in the trades, you can sign an apprenticeship contract (Contrat d'apprentissage) with a company and complete an apprenticeship there.

Similar to Germany, this is an employment contract, through which the trainee is guaranteed training by the employer, which takes place partly in the company itself and partly in a training center (Centre de formation d'apprentis, CFA), where mainly practical, job-related and general education content is taught.

This training is remunerated; the amount of remuneration depends – depending on the occupational group – on the collectively agreed minimum wage as well as on the age of the trainee and the year of training.

Apply for an apprenticeship in France

Before applying for a regular apprenticeship in France, you should keep in mind that this is only possible with a good knowledge of French in order to avoid problems in the daily work and in the courses.

To get an apprenticeship in a French company, you have to apply directly to the company, as in Germany, and highlight your competencies and personal strengths in your written application and in an interview, so that the company recognizes your motivation and decides for you.

Help in finding the right training company in France is available from the regional Chamber of Crafts (Chambres de Metiers et de l'Artisanat).

A possibility for German young professionals between 16 and 25 years, offers the French journeymen's association (Compagnons du Devoir). In more than 20 trades a complete apprenticeship can be completed in French handicraft companies.

The duration of training depends on the chosen profession, is usually 2 or 3 years and is recognized as equivalent in Germany. An advantage of this program is that accommodation, meals, salary and language courses are also included.