At the annual work-study forum at the Cité des Sciences in Paris, around a hundred exhibitors offered some 6,600 work-study offers for the next school year, from the CAP to the Master’s. “We have more companies present than in 2019, we have more offers from small companies and in more sectors”, testifies Karine Leprat, employment adviser at the CCI Paris Île-de-France, organizer of the show.
This local observation confirms the national enthusiasm for apprenticeship, with 718,000 contracts signed in 2021, an increase of 37% after already 42% in 2020. For Karine Leprat, if the 2018 reform has facilitated access for young , learning was “clearly boosted” by the aid decided during the covid crisis, a bonus of 5,000 euros for a minor and 8,000 for an adult. Extended until the end of June 2022, they have made the cost of the first year almost zero for the employer and avoided a collapse in the hiring of young people.
“It’s obvious, many companies have started work-study, especially in higher education,” she judges. Before the crisis, the aid was reserved for companies with less than 250 employees recruiting apprentices preparing a diploma of a level lower than or equal to the baccalaureate, where the effect on professional integration is the strongest.
Strong increase in recruitment
At the show, most companies admit it bluntly. “Our managers are in demand for work-study trainees, they are high-performance employees who don’t cost much. And they are there for a fairly long period, often two years,” emphasizes Chloé Drapier, herself a work-study recruiter at Center Parcs. “With the aid, we went from 100 work-study students in 2019 to 200 this year out of 1,000 recruitments”, recognizes Florence Hipolite, recruitment manager at Id Logistics.
It’s a very interesting way for young people to finance their studies and gain experience in the world of work.
But employers see it above all as a means of training new employees to retain them in sectors under pressure. “We have major resource needs with double-digit growth and we want to go from a retention rate (hiring at the end of the work-study program) of 40 to 50%,” says Florence Hipolite. “It’s for all our jobs (HR, administrative services, maintenance, logistics, transport, etc.),” she adds.
Without the aid, “we would have the same work-study objectives because we have a very positive a priori”, assures Caroline Monmarson, HR manager Castorama in Île-de-France. It is “overwhelmed with requests” because “it is a very interesting way for young people to finance their studies and to have experience of the world of work”, she explains. But she admits having “more and more difficulty in recruiting young people who are more demanding in terms of schedules, pro-life balance, which can be complicated in the trade”.
Accompaniment sometimes neglected
Present for the first time, Fnac-Darty wants to train alternately, “300 household appliance technicians” who will be almost “all then hired”, according to Pascal Rovaris, who coordinates recruitment. But, despite the videos of testimonials that he brought to his stand, he regrets that young people are more looking for a work-study program in IT or marketing than for “a manual trade that is still devalued”.
If Aurélien Cadiou, president of the National Association of Apprentices of France, is delighted that this exceptional aid has allowed “small businesses to discover apprenticeship”, he fears that employers “who would recruit them because it costs them less dear that a trainee does not abandon the accompaniment”. According to a survey by the Work-study Observatory carried out at the end of 2021 among 500 work-study students, more than a quarter of them thus indicate that they do not have a company tutor, which is nevertheless compulsory.
letelegramme Fr Trans