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  • Writer's pictureSabine Weger

FRANCE: Pre-Apprenticeship training period

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

The Pre-Apprenticeship Training period is designed to prepare youngsters from 16 to 29 years old, mainly NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training), to enter an apprenticeship work contract. The training helps potential entrants into the apprenticeship system to develop their job skills and trade readiness before signing an apprenticeship contract. Pre-apprenticeship programs propose different sets of strategies: assistance in improving literacy and numeracy skills as well as focusing on developing some essential work-related skills and provide hands-on discovery of crafts and trade professions and the company environment. Personalized support is part of the preparation period. The duration of the preparations can range from a few days to several months, depending on the situation of the young person and his or her project.

Responsible organisation

CMA France for national coordination and regional skilled craft chambers for each regional project

What problem or issue has the innovative practice aimed to tackle?

Pre-apprenticeship training programs should enable young people, who are currently insufficiently prepared, to successfully enter an apprenticeship. The integration of young people, in particular the most vulnerable one, into the professional world, is a key issue for their future success. At the same time, the pre-apprenticeship period should prevent and reduce the interruption rates of apprenticeship contracts, which is also a loss and difficulty for the training company.

What have been the achievements?

This initiative was created by the reform of the French VET system (law of September 5, 2018). A national call financed by the skill investment plan was launched in 2019 for projects to implement pre-apprenticeship periods.

All over France, a total of 116 projects with over 1,000 reception sites support 75,000 young people over the duration of the call.

Skilled craft chambers in almost all regions are actively involved: 25 projects for a total of 15,000 potential beneficiaries with a budget of 34 million euros have been implemented by our network since 2019. Currently, more than 6,200 young people have already integrated the various individualised courses offered by our network. More than 60% of participants successfully finished the training period (to enter an apprenticeship contract or other training).

Projects usually undergo different phases:

1st step: Identification of the potential participants

2nd step: Implementation of information campaigns

3rd step: Positioning and prescription of the training: Further counselling is organised. A prior assessment is implemented to evaluate the learner's project, to measure motivation, to identify and define the specific support needed. The assessment considers the acquired experiences and checks the prerequisites that are necessary to successfully complete the training courses. If the participation in the training is validated, participants obtain a social security coverage and a grant for the training period.

4th step: Implementation of the training courses: The duration of the training can range from a few weeks to a maximum of one year depending on the situation of the participant. The course must contribute to an increase of knowledge and improvement of interpersonal skills. It also includes an internship to discover the company environment and the craft sector and should confirm the professional project.

The model proposed by CMA France includes 4 modules that can be offered according to the needs of the learner. Some projects may propose more modules (see example below)

Module 1 “How to act in a (professional) situation to confirm your professional choice"

Module 2 “Discover the company and company environment”

Module 3 “Evaluate your potential”

Module 4 “Consolidate basic skills and knowledge”

During the training courses, an individual coach will support the learner and individually monitoring the learning progress. This should provide a secure learning environment and time for dialogue. The pedagogy implemented is based on “personal development” approach. It is about highlighting successes and allowing each learner to become aware of their potential.

Example of a regional project: Using sport and digital tools to make the right choice for future training and careers (implemented by regional CMA de Centre-Val de Loire.

A modular training course is implemented with a duration of 1 to 10 weeks. It allows the beneficiary to:

  • Stimulate initiative and self-confidence

  • Increase basic knowledge

  • Create a progressive acculturation to digital tools & environment

  • Discover the business world and the craft sector

  • Adopt the appropriate behavioural attitude in business

6 different training modules are possible

  • Ability to confirm your professional choice

  • Discover the company and work environment

  • Detect and develop your potential through sport and digital tools

  • Consolidate basic knowledge

  • Master job search techniques

  • Prepare for the internship

Detect and develop your potential through sport and digital tools

A conference is led by Muriel HERMINE, former world champion in synchronised swimming and founder of the association "I have a dream":

  • How to use “failure” as a powerful learning lever

  • Know how to manage time and motivation

  • How to build self-confidence

  • Identify your talents to choose your professional project, and acquire skills to perform

Team building periods allow you to

  • Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and to learn how to deal with them

  • Develop emotional skills, know how to interact with others

  • How to integrate and work in a team: express yourself about your professional project

Sports workshops are organised such as blindfolded obstacle course to learn to trust each other and to trust others. Deciphering body language and signals to better manage emotions. Digital workshops are offered including quizzes on personal development, personality tests, etc. Job search training is implemented.

Who was involved and how?

  • CMA France and the steering group

  • Network of skilled craft chambers and training centres

  • External partners in charge of youth support

Download the fact sheet with contact information here (pdf)

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