What funding for vocational training?

12 Oct 2020


Do you wish to follow a vocational training or further training? In France, it is possible to have your training courses financed by several schemes. Which scheme should you choose? Which one is right for you? It is not easy to find the good schema in this administrative jungle: each one has different specificities and eligibility conditions. We present you in detail with different funding schemes for vocational training to help you find the funding that best suits your needs and situation.

The possibilities of financing vocational training for an employee

The choice of funding organisation depends on your professional status, your rights and your project. Here are the different funding partners for vocational training.

The Personal Training Account (CPF)

The personal training account (CPF in french) is a means of payment for training in France. Each year, you contribute €500 of training to your employer. The total amount is capped at €8,000 for unqualified employees and €5,000 for other employees. The amount contributed can be freely spent by the owner. The aim of the CPF is to strengthen the professional security and employability of employees. Numerous training courses are eligible for the CPF:

  • VAE ;
  • Professional certifications registered in the National Register of Professional Certifications ;
  • Certifications and habilitations registered in the specific directory;
  • Validation certificates for blocks of skills;
  • Skills assessments;
  • Training actions enabling firefighters, volunteers in civic service or volunteers to acquire the skills inherent to the exercise of their missions;
  • Training activities provided to those taking over or setting up a business;
  • Preparation for road traffic regulations and driving licence tests.

Some training courses eligible for the CPF are registered in the RNCP (National Directory of Professional Certification). This is a guarantee of quality: they are training courses listed and recognised by the state. They have a genuine professional purpose and are qualifying or diploma courses.

The CPF of professional transition (CTP)

Since 1 January 2019, the professional transition account has enabled employees wishing to retrain for a new career to finance certified training courses related to their professional project. It replaces the former Individual Training Leave (CIF). It corresponds to long-term training and can enable employees to change jobs or professions. It aims to finance training leading to a certificate or qualification.

To benefit from this, the employee must prove 24 months of professional activity, 12 of which must have been spent within the same company. This condition is not required for disabled workers benefiting from the OETH and persons dismissed for unfitness or economic redundancy. The employee's remuneration may be maintained during training or slightly reduced:

  • If he receives a salary less than or equal to two minimum wages, his salary is maintained at 100%.
  • If his or her salary is higher than two minimum wages, the remuneration is maintained at 90%.

These rates are valid if the training takes place in one year or less than 1,200 hours. From the 1201st hour or for subsequent years, pay will be maintained at up to 60%.

The skills development plan

The skills development plan, formerly known as the training plan, enables companies to provide training for their employees. The training provided must enable employees to adapt to their jobs and maintain their employability (particularly in view of technological developments). It is a plan for the development of skills, provided during working hours.

The employee's salary is then automatically maintained. The employer is free to choose the employees benefiting from a training plan, without any discriminatory character. The employee may also take the initiative to make this request. If the training plan is imposed by the employer, the employee may refuse only if his employer proposes a VPE during working time or a skills assessment. Refusal for any other type of training is punishable by dismissal.

The possibilities of financing vocational training for a jobseeker

Any jobseeker, whether or not he is receiving compensation, can benefit from a financial supplement for training.

Aid from the regional council

Some french regions offer financial assistance to young people and adults looking for a job or a new career path. Some regions set up the CPRDFOP (contrat de plan régional de développement des formations et de l'orientation professionnelles in french) to finance training for jobseekers. The number of places and the arrangements differ from one region to another, so you are advised to enquire directly with your regional council.

Pôle emploi

The Individual Training Assistance (AIF in french) scheme is a system for obtaining additional financial support to follow a diploma or certificate course. To benefit from it, the applicant (who must be registered with Pôle Emploi or be the beneficiary of a professional security contract) must request an estimate and a training agreement from the training organisation in question. The Pôle emploi adviser uses these documents as a basis for initiating the Individual Training Assistance agreement. The file is then sent to the training organisation, which completes it and returns it to Pôle emploi for acceptance. Since 8 July 2020, it has also been possible to apply to Pôle Emploi for an employer's contribution. This is additional funding for people who have not paid enough contributions to have their entire training programme funded. This contribution is granted under certain conditions and can be requested directly online on your personal Pôle Emploi space. If the matching contribution is accepted, the applicant's registration for the training course is automatically validated.

As you can see, there are several ways to obtain funding for your vocational training. You may be eligible for several schemes, which are not always cumulative. So make sure you find out about each of them so that you can make the most appropriate choice according to your situation and your needs.