Is it possible to change companies during my work-study contract?

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For what reasons and how to go about it? The answer is yes, if alternation goes badly it is possible to change companies. As in any job search, you have to be reactive so as not to remain without a contract for long.

Measures envisaged for changing companies during the work-study program

There are many reasons why a student may change companies, even though the work-study contract is already in progress:

  • poor team integration;
  • the missions do not correspond to the job description;
  • false appreciation of the profession;
  • poor accompaniment during the missions, absence of the tutor;
  • economic problems of the company (often start-ups).

Here are our recommendations to try to reverse the trend and end the contract with peace of mind.

Step 1: Communication

It is imperative to refer to the company tutor and the school s academic advisor. In general, communication should always be considered a priority. It may be possible to find a solution: change of department, readjustment of missions, new tutor appointed.

The school referent isalso an education and labor law professional who has experience with these types of situations. He will be able to guide you to find the best solution. It intervenes at all stages of the work-study program: before (research assistance), during (problem solving) and after if necessary.

Step 2: Breach of contract during the trial period

Depending on the type of work-study contract the length of a trial period is not the same. The trial period is a way to evaluate each other (student and company). On the employer’s side, they ensure that the candidate is a good fit for the position. In addition to getting his or her bearings, the work-study student ensures that the assignments are in line with the purpose of his or her application.

Apprenticeship, the work-study contract cannot do without a company. You have to justify your reasons. It is important to know that the trial period is 45 working days in the company, without counting vacations or time spent at school.

For the professionalization contract the approach is different. The alternating student is not required to justify his or her reasons. However, it is necessary to remain courteous and to communicate to inform your interlocutors.

Step 3: Enable continuity of training

We must anticipate this change of company. We need to have a fallback solution for this early departure. Recontact former recruiters interested in your profile. It is important to continue and not interrupt academic training. The skills operator (OPCO) has already taken charge of the training for a period of six months, so we might as well continue the pedagogical follow-up at the school. The best thing to do is to contact the relevant department of our establishment to find a solution.

Possibilities when a work-study contract has been interrupted

A work-study contract cannot continue without a company. In addition, it is not easy to find a new employer at the same time as the training and outside the traditional recruitment dates. In order not to lose any of the courses of the current year, it is possible to continue the training in initial, but the student will not receive any more remuneration and it is possible that he/she will have a remainder of the tuition fees to pay.

Search for a company

The probability that a work-study student will find a company after breaking his or her work-study contract is about 66%. They manage to find a new company with the support and combined efforts of some academic centers. If your apprenticeship contract is terminated in the middle of the year, it is urgent that you sign a new contract with a new company in order to receive the same benefits.

The case of professionalization contracts is more complicated. It is not possible to sign two professionalization contracts in the same year. The reasons for breach of contract are decisive. To keep the knowledge of the current year, it is common to consider the initial training and to avoid losing a year. In this case, you will have to pay the remaining tuition.

Some figures: As of June 2010, according to a study by the ACFCI (Assembly of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry), 25% of the 300,000 apprenticeship contracts are broken every year. Those affected: 63% of young people under the age of 18. The sectors most affected by these breaches of contract are, ahead of industry with 10% and construction with 8%, hotels and restaurants with 37%, trade with 23%. Two out of three youths find an alternative company to continue their training. A good half of them after only one month, most often with the help of the CFA (Centre de formation d’apprentissage).

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Updated 2 September 2022