Skip to main content

The professionalisation contract

The professionalisation contract is an employment contract concluded between an employer and an employee. It allows the acquisition - within the framework of continuing education - of a professional qualification (diploma, title, certificate of professional qualification, etc.) recognised by the State and/or the professional branch. The aim is to facilitate the integration or return to employment of young people and adults.

  • Young people aged 16 to 25 to complete their initial training  
  • Jobseekers aged 26 and over
  • Beneficiaries of the RSA benefit (revenu de solidarité active), the ASS benefit (allocation de solidarité spécifique) or the AAH benefit (allocation aux adultes handicapés)  
  • People who have benefited from a subsidised contract (contrat unique d'insertion - CUI)
  • Degrees or professional titles registered in the French Directory of Professional Certifications (RNCP) 
  • Professional qualification certificate (CQP) of the branch or inter-branch 
  • Qualification recognised in the classifications of a national collective agreement
  • All employers under private law subject to the financing of lifelong learning, with the exception of the State, local authorities and their public administrative bodies.
  • Public industrial and commercial establishments (e.g. RATP, SNCF, Office National des Forêts) subject to the financing of lifelong learning and maritime shipping companies may conclude professionalisation contracts

The fixed-term contract

The professionalisation contract can be concluded as a fixed-term contract or as a permanent contract.

If the contract is for a fixed term, it must be for a period of between 6 and 12 months. This period can be extended directly to 36 months for:

  • young people aged 16 to 25 who have not completed secondary education and who do not hold a technological or vocational diploma ;
  • young people aged 16 to 25 and jobseekers aged 26 and over, provided they have been registered for more than a year on the list of jobseekers kept by Pôle Emploi ;
  • beneficiaries of RSA, ASS, AAH benefits or having just completed an integration contract.

At the end of a fixed-term contract, no severance pay is due.

Renewing a fixed-term vocational training contract
This contract can be renewed once with the same employer if the second qualification is higher than or complementary to the first or if the beneficiary has not been able to achieve the qualification prepared for reasons such as failing the examination, maternity or adoption, illness, accident at work, or failure of the training organisation.

The permanent contract

In this case, the maximum duration rules (12 or 24 months) relate to the period of professionalisation action, i.e. the first phase of the contract which alternates periods of work and study, at the end of which the employment contract is continued under an open-ended employment contract under ordinary law.

The holder of a professionalisation contract has the status of an employee. As such, the laws, regulations and collective agreement are applicable to them under the same conditions as to other employees, insofar as their provisions are not incompatible with the requirements of their training.

As such, the contract may include a trial period which must be mentioned in the professionalisation contract; this trial period is governed by the French Labour Code, depending on whether it is for a fixed-term or open-ended contract.

Working hours are the same as for other employees in the company. Training time is included in working time. Employees will have a weekly rest period.
All the regulations concerning young workers under the age of 18 apply to minors on a professionalisation contract, in particular :

  • Working time regulations 
  • Prohibition of work on public holidays, unless exempted

The contract may be concluded on a part-time basis provided that the organisation of the part-time work does not hinder the acquisition of the qualification in question and that it complies with the conditions specific to the professionalisation contract, in particular as regards the duration of training in relation to the total duration of the contract.

The employment contract specifies the terms of the contract between the beneficiary and the employer.
The vocational training agreement defines the terms and conditions for the financial coverage of training costs between the employer and the training organisation.

At Université Gustave Eiffel, the Lifelong Learning, VAE and Work-Study Department sets up the agreement with the employer.

You should therefore send your employer's details to as soon as you have them.

This agreement will only be drawn up once you have received a favourable opinion on your application.