Professional English training

In France, individuals may access adult education courses in the form of initial training courses for students or continuing professional education for employed individuals. The current French  professional education scheme was set up in the 1970s. It involves the French State, companies, local authorities, public and private educational institutions, professional organizations, trade unions and family associations. The professional training sector is very large, representing 1.7% of GDP.

The aim of professional training  is to help workers adapt to evolving technologies and working conditions, maintain or improve their professional qualifications and promote social advancement and professional development.


Professional English training - Who is it for?

Employees in the private sector
Employees are entitled to professional training during the course of their careers, no matter the company they work for. These courses may be offered within the framework of:

- The company's staff training plan. This plan encompasses all of the training activities for which the employer is responsible. Employees following training courses are considered to be on a professional assignment and are paid by the company.
- The individual right of all employees to follow a training course of their choice during their working hours. This is known as the Individual Training Leave ( Congé Individuel de Formation , or CIF).
- The DIF (Individual Right to Training)

Civil servants
Civil servants working in public administration are entitled to the same type of training courses, training plans and training leave.

Self-employed individuals
Self-employed individuals (farmers, artisans, independent workers, etc.) are also eligible for training. They are required to contribute to a collecting agency accredited by the state that funds training programs for self-employed workers.

Job seekers
Any job seeker may participate in a paid training course under certain conditions. This course may be offered as part of a specific employment contract (such as a work-study contract) or as part of training activities funded by the state or the French regions.



Professional English training - Funding

Professional training is funded primarily by the French regions, the state and companies:

- The regions have general jurisdiction with regard to professional training and are specifically responsible for training for young people aged 16 to 25.

- The state, and in particular the Ministry for Employment and Solidarity, provides assistance for the most disadvantaged people. It has specific budgets for job seekers, immigrant workers, individuals with disabilities, prisoners, illiterate people, etc.

- Companies' funding of professional training is based on a legal obligation to contribute to the funding of training for employees.

Specific organisations (OPCA) collect mandatory or optional contributions from companies. They are created by employer organisations and trade unions and then accredited by the French state.


Professional English training - the DIF (Individual Right to Training)

Created by the law of 4 May 2004, the DIF  is designed to allow any employee to accumulate 20 hours of credit for training courses per year. These credits may be accumulated over six years for a total of up to 120 hours. The employee has the right to request the use of these credit hours, but he or she must receive the employer's permission regarding the choice of DIF training undertaken. The DIF training takes place outside of working hours unless otherwise stipulated by the provisions of an agreement. The employer pays for the DIF training in accordance with specific terms and conditions. Since the employee has the recognized right to DIF training, he or she is free to use this right or not. Please see our DIF English training package for more details.

Sources: Wikipedia |