Work-linked training in France: which contract to choose?

Work-study is a very popular apprenticeship formula for students and professionals alike, because for some it allows them to enjoy a salaried status during their training, and for others it gives a new dimension to their professional career. Two types of contracts are offered in this context, which one will suit you best?

The main types of work-study contracts

There are two maain types of contracts for work-study training: the apprenticeship contract and the professionalization contract.

The professionalization contract, formerly known as a qualification contract, is part of continuing professional education. It aims to acquire a qualification recognized by a professional branch, but is increasingly open to the preparation of diplomas and titles. As for the apprenticeship contract, it is part of the initial training and aims at preparing diplomas, certifications and titles. Obviously, this is the most popular contract for students and is therefore offered by many schools. Applicants for engineering and management training can find their apprenticeship training on the website

How to obtain a work-study contract?

Finding an apprenticeship or professionalization contract can take time, which is why it is advisable to be well organized in order to better approach this process. First, you need to choose a specific sector of activity and a specific job. To do this, you can get information from the information and orientation centers or the local mission, or go on a discovery day in a company. Next, you need to look for an establishment that offers work-study programs related to the chosen profession. This can be an apprentice training center, a high school (pro), a university or a university of applied sciences. You can use the search tool available on, and on many other search sites such as Emploi-Gouv or at Information and Orientation Centers (CIO). Finally, look for a host company to get a work-study contract. This step can precede the search for the training center. To find a company, start by answering advertisements, such as those published by Pôle Emploi, or :

  • send unsolicited applications;
  • contact professional unions, chambers of trade, commerce and industry or agriculture;
  • ask for help from the CFA or the establishment where you plan to enroll…