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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm an apprentice

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about apprenticeships!

I am a company

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about apprenticeships!

You deposit your file on the web site of the university or engineering school.
Your file will be reviewed by the university or engineering school.
If it is selected, you will be invited to a selection interview.
At the end of this interview, you will know if you are selected or not.

Yes, you still can follow the training by signing a professional contract. It is managed by the Service of Continued Training of your university or engineering school whereas the apprenticeship contract is managed by cfa leem. The deposit of your file is the same as an apprenticeship contract.

The apprenticeship contract is specific to French work law. The apprenticeship can only be done with a company with a SIRET number in France.

But it exists in some cases in which the completion of the apprenticeship contract abroad is possible. That’s the case for the training of cfa leem “Grand Est” region. At Strasbourg University, you can do your apprenticeship at a German company in one of the states near the French-German border; Bade-Wurtemberg or Rhénanie-Palatinat. Ask the counselor for the « Grand-Est » region.

You can start the search for an apprenticeship contract long before the training selections. Ideally, you must begin contacting them in April when companies begin to know if they can hire apprentices. Once your integration is confirmed, the cfa leem Apprentissage also helps you to find a host company. The apprentices cannot begin training if they haven’t signed an apprenticeship contract.

Yes, the public sector hires apprentices under the same conditions as the private sector. The apprentice benefits from an increase of the minimum salary compared to the private sector. This increase goes to 20% if the apprentice prepares one of the level 3 diplomas (named BTS, DUT or DEUST which are A-levels + 2 years of studies). The increase of 20% isn’t compulsory for level 2 and 1 diplomas (Bachelor and Master’s degrees).

Yes, your salary given by the company is calculated regarding your age, your level of studies, and the length of service of your contract. It corresponds to a percentage of the minimum salary in France named SMIC or the minimum regarding the convention if it’s more generous for the apprentice. If you prepare a professional bachelor or a master 2 degree, you will be given a salary at least equal to the second year of the contract. Training periods are considered as work time; there is no part-time salary, it’s a full time.

Your apprentice salary benefits from a tax exemption when it’s under the annual minimum salary. If it goes higher than this, only the higher part will be taxed, and it has to be declared to the IRS via the formulary of revenues declaration.

If you are recruited during the year, as is often the case, the maximum is calculated proportionally to the duration of your training period work during the apprenticeship. It will be the same when an apprenticeship contract ends during the year.

Example: If you have work for 11 months in 2019, the exoneration limit will be equal to 11/12 of the maximum amount.

No, you will benefit from 5 weeks of holidays as any worker. They will be granted by your tutor, and they can only be taken during work time (not during the period at universities or engineering schools).

No, all the costs are paid by the company through the training contribution.

Like any worker, you are covered under the general social insurance scheme. You are covered for health risks, elderly risks, work accidents including during your presence at the university or engineering school. Once you have signed your apprenticeship contract, you have to inform the health insurance of your change in status on this website :

Yes, you will have to be recognized as a disabled worker by the commission of rights and autonomy of disabled persons (also called CDAPH). The HandiEM association helps the workers of the medical companies in this process :…

You can’t benefit from higher education scholarships anymore or universities allocations. But you can benefit from aid from the CAF (named APL for accommodation) or still from “ACTION LOGEMENT “during your apprenticeship. For more information, ask your apprenticeship counselor. Furthermore, according to their company practices, they can pay for food, transport etc.

Yes, the French nationality is not compulsory to sign an apprenticeship contract. For the EU and citizens of Switzerland, there is no special process to follow. For non-Europeans, they must have a card which allow them to work. Some differences exist regarding the country of origin and agreements between the French state regarding the free movement of workers. The procedure to have this card is completed by you and you have to ask the “prefecture” which you are assigned (according to where you live) for this card. To have temporary work authorization your company has to request the service of the foreign worker (named MOE in French) from the DIRECCTE (French acronym) according to where you live.

The apprenticeship contract is a work contract similar to a temporary contract (but the difference is that contrary to a classical temporary contract, indemnities at the end of the contract and paid vacations aren’t due if the contract ends). The apprenticeship contract is for apprentices from 16 to 30 years old and is managed by the CFA. For apprentices who are older than 30 years old, an apprentice training is possible under a professionalization contract managed by the continue training service of the university or the engineering school.

You can host an apprentice until 3 months before the beginning of the training (back to school date) or 6 months after the beginning of the training period.

The salary depends on the age and the level of studies of the apprentice. The minimum salary paid to the apprentice correspond to a percent of the French SMIC or SMC (minimum wage) if it’s more generous. The apprentices doing a professional bachelor, or a master’s degree must receive a salary equal to at least the salary of a second year of an apprentice contract. The training periods are considered as work time: there is no part-time salary.

You can benefit from exemptions of social security contributions for the apprentice employment and until the end of the apprenticeship contract. To find more details about exemptions, you can see the URSSAF internet website :

The apprentice is not counted for the size of the company for the application of dispositions subject to a condition amount. He/she is for the calculating of accident’s at work risks and professional illness.

The apprentice has the right to take the legal paid vacations: five weeks per year (so two and a half days by month which he/she works during the period of the following year written in the collective bargaining agreement).

The tutor must have a diploma equal to the one prepared by the apprentice and to have at least 2 years of professional experience in relation to the qualification designated by the diploma or title. If they don’t have a diploma such as the one prepared by the apprentice, the tutor has to justify at least of a 3 years professional experience in relation to the qualification designated by the diploma or title. The company must justify it to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (also called CCI in France) in case it is requested. The tutor can manage at the maximum 2 apprentices.

Yes, the French nationality is compulsory to sign an apprenticeship contract. For the EU citizens, they are allowed to do it. For the non-European citizens, the apprentice has to have authorization. There are specificities depending on the country of origin and agreement with the French government.

There are two ways to end it :

  • During the assessment period : it is possible to end the apprenticeship contract without notice and any explanation.
  • After the assessment period : it’s possible without conflict if all the parties agree.

If there is a conflict, the outcome will be decided by the “Prud’hommes” Court.


Le maître d’apprentissage est le référent de l’apprenti au sein de l’entreprise et le tuteur pédagogique est le référent au sein de l’établissement de formation.
Pour faire le lien entre l’entreprise et l’établissement de formation, un outil a été mis en place : le livret d’apprentissage.
C’est un document rempli par l’apprenti et qui permet au maître d’apprentissage de savoir ce qui a été enseigné pendant les périodes de formation.
Il permet également au tuteur pédagogique de connaître les missions confiées à l’apprenti en entreprise.

La formation de l’apprenti est financée par la contribution unique à la formation professionnelle et à l’alternance.

Depuis 2019, la contribution à la formation professionnelle et la taxe d’apprentissage sont rassemblées dans la contribution unique à la formation professionnelle et à l’alternance. En pratique, les 2 taxes conservent globalement les mêmes caractéristiques. L’Urssaf collectera la taxe unique au plus tard le 1er janvier 2022.