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Apprenticeship contract: all you need to know


The apprenticeship contract is an employment contract where the apprenticeship period must last the time of preparation for the diploma, that is to say the theoretical training.

The apprenticeship contract must be concluded using a standard form signed by the employer and the apprentice, and if the latter is a minor, also by his legal representative. The contract specifies the name of the apprenticeship master and the diploma prepared. Before the start of the apprenticeship, or at the latest within the following five days, the employer must send his skills operator (Opco) the apprenticeship contract accompanied by the training agreement and, where applicable, the duration agreement. The Opco then 20 days to decide on financial support.

The employer must also register the young person at the Apprentice Training Center and draw up (for a first contract) a declaration by which he undertakes to take all the necessary measures to organize the apprenticeship and guarantees satisfactory training. .

What is the difference between apprenticeship and apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a special work-study contract. Indeed, work-study contracts correspond to contracts in which an employee alternates between missions in the company and periods of theoretical training, with the aim of obtaining a recognized qualification. The two main types of work-study contracts are apprenticeship contracts and professionalization contracts.

What salary for an apprenticeship contract?

The minimum wage under an apprenticeship contract is a percentage of the minimum wage, which varies according to the age of the apprentice, the year of execution of the contract (first, second or third year) and the date of signature of the contract. The contracts entered into comply with the following scale:

Year of execution of the contract Apprentice under 18 Apprentice from 18 to 20 years old Apprentice from 21 to 25 years old Apprentice aged 26 and over
1st year 27% 43% 53% 100%
2nd year 39% 51% 61% 100%
3rd year 55% 67% 78% 100%

From the age of 21, if the agreed minimum wage is higher than minimum wage, it is the first that is used as the basis for calculating the apprentice’s salary. Contracts concluded up to December 31, 2018 must follow the scale below:

Year of execution of the contract Apprentice under 18 Apprentice aged 18 to under 21 Apprentice aged 21 and over
1st year 25% 41% 53%
2nd year 37% 49% 61%
3rd year 53% 65% 78%

Here too, beyond the age of 21, the salary corresponds to a fraction of the conventional minimum wage when it is higher than the minimum wage.

What are the characteristics of the apprenticeship contract?

It is a written contract, concluded for a fixed term or for an indefinite period. When the contract is concluded for an indefinite period, the apprenticeship period must be equivalent to the diploma preparation time. If it is a CDD, it must last the time of the preparation of the diploma, and between six months and three years, four years in the case of a disabled worker. It contains a probationary period, the equivalent of a trial period, 45 days. The contract can be extended if you fail the exam.

If the apprentice is hired following a fixed-term apprenticeship contract, no trial period may be imposed on him unless otherwise agreed. In addition, his apprenticeship period will in this case be taken into account for calculate seniority and salary.

Working time is identical to that of other employees. The employer must release the young person to follow his theoretical training. It represents at least 25% of total working time of the apprentice, in which she is integrated, which means that she is therefore remunerated in the same way. It takes place in a dedicated training organization, most of the time a training and learning center (CFA).

The employer must also pay his employee up to a percentage of the minimum wage which varies according to the age of the apprentice and the date of conclusion of the contract. Under certain conditions, persons on an apprenticeship contract may receive the activity bonus. However, they are not eligible for the RSA. The apprentice being considered as a full-fledged employee, he is entitled to all the advantages of these, as long as he fulfills the eligibility conditions: restaurant tickets, company vehicle, seniority bonus, etc. .

Who can sign an apprenticeship contract?

The apprenticeship contract is an employment contract between an employer and a young person aged 16 to 29 inclusive. However, the young person may be aged 15 years old if he has completed lower secondary education. The maximum age can be increased to 34 years old if the apprentice wants to sign a new contract to obtain a higher diploma than the one he has already obtained, or if his previous contract has been terminated for reasons beyond his control or for physical and temporary incapacity.

The apprentice may also be aged over 29 if he is recognized as disabled (for questions relating to the employment of disabled people, you must go through Agefiph): there is then no age restriction. There is also no restriction if the employee completes an apprenticeship with the aim ofobtain a diploma necessary to create or take over a business (Acre, Nacre or Cape individualized aid system), if he is registered as a high-level athlete or if he does not obtain the diploma or professional title prepared. His apprenticeship may, in the latter case, be extended for a maximum of one year by a new contract with another employer.

On the business side, all private sector structures can hire apprentices, including associations and temporary employment companies. The employer must declare that they have taken the necessary measures to hold the apprenticeship. The public service can also resort to apprenticeship, among others the three public services and industrial and commercial public establishments.

What are the aids for the employer for hiring an apprentice?

Employers who multiply apprenticeship contracts benefit from several financial aids from the State.

  • Unique help from €4,125 maximum during the first year of the contract, €2,000 in the second year and €1,200 for the third year
  • Exemption from employer social contributions, total or partial depending on the size of the company
  • Aid from Agefiph in the amount of Max 3000 euros when hiring a disabled apprentice
  • Tax deductions on the apprenticeship tax

Faced with the health crisis, the government of Emmanuel Macron has set up assistance for the recruitment of apprentices as part of the “A young person, a solution” plan: employers who hire apprentices could receive €5,000 for hiring a work-study minor and €8,000 for that of a major work-study student.

Learning should prepare for a level 7 title at the national level (Master or diploma from an engineering school). Financial assistance from the “A young person, a solution” scheme is paid unconditionally to associations and businesses in less than 250 employees. The companies of more than 250 employees must commit to hiring at least 5% of their apprenticeship payroll.

This financial aid was to end on June 30, 2022, but Olivier Dussopt, the new Minister of Labour, Full Employment and Integration has declared the extension of the system until the end of the year, at a minimum, in order ofreach 1 million apprentices in France.

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