What is the difference between apprenticeship and work-study programs?

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Apprenticeship and work-study programs allow students to combine studies at a training center with work in a company. But what is the difference between these two training methods? Whether you’re already in the workforce or still in the middle of your studies, this article explains the difference between apprenticeship and work-study programs. And, as a bonus, our advice for finding a work-study program!

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What are apprenticeships and work-study programs?

In order to be able to distinguish between apprenticeship and work-study programs, it is important to understand their respective definitions.

As its name indicates, the alternating work-study program is a training system that alternates periods of theoretical courses in a business school, such as INSEEC, with periods of work in a professional environment.

In our training center , there are several work-study programs. You can choose from 10 specific specializations. The advantage of choosing this type of training lies in the fact that it will allow you to acquire skills while discovering the reality of the professional world.

The work-study program can be carried out under school status for which training periods in a professional environment are planned for pupils or students. The work-study program is carried out as a salaried employee. Generally, the expression “work-study training” is used when the work-study student signs a work contract with a company. An employee means a salary. The work-study student therefore receives a monthly salary and benefits from certain advantages such as paid vacations and salary protection, in return for the work done in the company.
Apprenticeship is a possible case of work-study. In fact, this is only one of the types of contracts you can choose if you want to do work-study training. A work-study contract can be done via a professionalization contract or an apprenticeship contract.

What is the difference between an apprenticeship contract and a professionalization contract?

The alternating rhythm in our business and management school can be carried out under 2 types of contracts: an apprenticeship contract and a professionalization contract in a company.

The apprenticeship contract offered at INSEEC

This type of contract is primarily aimed at acquiring a certified title from the RNCP*, recognized by the Ministry of Employment and Labor (from BAC to BAC +5). This is a continuous training program during which the apprentice alternates periods of theoretical training with periods of practical training in a company of which he or she is an employee, on a fixed-term or permanent contract.

The duration of the apprenticeship contract in our school is from 6 to 36 months maximum. Our apprenticeship contract is available to students under 30 years of age. Students receive a salary as well as a contribution to their training costs.
Students may be assisted by a mediator in the event of a conflict or financial problem. The apprenticeship contract at INSEEC can begin 3 months before the start of the training course, with the agreement of the OPCO (Skills Operator). As for the end date of the contract, the apprentice has up to 2 months after the end of the course (with the agreement of the CFA), while respecting the 25% minimum training time.

***The Répertoire National des Certifications Professionnelles (RNCP) for apprenticeship is a repository of diplomas and professional certifications that are recognized by the French state. It is managed by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research. It allows young apprentices to have their skills and knowledge validated by diplomas and certificates recognized by the French state. Titles and diplomas registered in the RNCP for apprenticeship are eligible for an apprenticeship contract.

INSEEC’s professionalization contract

The professionalization contract also aims at the employability of students. The latter follow a 12 to 24 month continuous professional training course during which they have the status of employees in training, on fixed-term or permanent contracts.

In our business school, students can follow a qualifying course related to the position they hold in the company. Our professionalization contract is open to students under 26 years old. This type of contract allows for the recruitment of profiles over 26 years of age, provided that the candidates are registered as job seekers. In addition, the legal minimum wage for this type of contract is higher than for an apprenticeship.

At INSEEC, companies that take on students under a professionalization or apprenticeship contract in a company with fewer than 250 employees can claim government aid of 8,000 euros.
Now that you understand the different “apprenticeship” and “work-study” training schemes, choose the work-study program that suits you best in the largest network of business alumni in France: INSEEC. You will benefit from a completely flexible and customized course. You will find the eligibility requirements on our portal.

How do you finance a work-study program?

Generally speaking, it is important to know that work-study is a win/win system for the company and the “young person”. The company has a human aid at a lower cost than a traditional employee, it can test the alternant with a view to future recruitment and train him “in his own way”.

Apprentices’ salaries are exempt from employer contributions up to 79% of the minimum wage. For the higher part, up to 1.6 times the SMIC, the contributions are reduced.

It is not the companies but the Opérateurs de Compétences that pay the school’s tuition fees. On average, 80% to 90% of training costs are covered. The balance is the responsibility of the company.

An exceptional aid of 6,000 euros is paid by the State for companies with less than 250 employees and for all contracts concluded until December 30, 2022 for people under 30 years old (1 young person 1 solution). This aid allows the company to cover a large part of the student’s salary.

How to find a work-study contract with INSEEC?

Want to go further? At INSEEC, we take the development and employability of our students very seriously. To do this, we have built a department dedicated to supporting our work-study students and young graduates. All admitted and enrolled candidates are eligible for the following 4 services:

1- Participate in a coaching session!

You have spent 10 hours making your CV, now you need an objective and professional opinion on the subject! Our Corporate and Alumni Relations teams (aka: SREA) regularly organize coaching sessions:

  • CV: advice and correction
  • LinkedIn: personal branding and animation
  • The law of training: alternation
  • Preparation and simulation of a job interview

2- Become the prey of headhunters!

You don’t even have to apply for jobs anymore, the SREA will propose your CV directly to companies looking for a student! Of course, your profile, sector and professional wishes are taken into account.

3- Access hundreds of exclusive offers on our private groups

These internship, job and work-study offers are available on an internal digital platform as well as on a dedicated Facebook group. They come from our corporate partners and our alumni.

4 – Be invited to all events

Access to INSEEC job dating and afterwork sessions, either face-to-face or remote è approximately 100 companies per job dating

From registration to hiring, our school INSEEC is at the side of our students to accompany and advise them. Through various events organized within our schools, we offer our students the opportunity to connect academic knowledge with the reality of the professional world.

Updated 2 August 2023