How can I finance my studies?

IF YOU ARE AN EMPLOYEE IN THE PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SECTOR

You can take courses during work time or outside of working hours.

Individual training leave (CIF) allows all employed people to take a one-year, full-time or 1200-hour part-time course.

Conditions differ according to your profile.

  • If you have an open-ended contract (CDI) in the private sector, you need to have worked for at least 24 month, a year of which has been for your current employer.
  • If you have, or had, a fixed-term contract (CDD), you need to be able to prove 24 months of paid employment over the preceding 5 years and at least 4 months under a fixed-term contract in the last 12 months.
  • If you are under the age of 26, you need to have worked for 12 months in the private sector over the last 5 years, at least 4 months of which were under a fixed-term contract, apprenticeship contracts. The course must occur 12 months after the end of the fixed-term contract or during the fixed-term contract subject to your employer's agreement.

Your employer cannot prevent you from taking a course but can postpone it in certain cases. In order to obtain individual training leave, you must send a request for leave to your employer. Once this has been received by your employer, you then need to obtain a funding agreement from the joint organisations accredited by the state. In order to so, you need to approach Fongecif or, in certain cases, Opacif, whichever your company contributes to.

 

Training outside of working hours (FHTT) allows workers who have an open-ended contract (CDI) in the private sector and who have worked for more than one year in the company to undertake a course of their choice, independently of the company's Training Plan. The course takes place outside of working hours. Unlike for individual training leave, no request for leave needs to be made. You need to send an application for funding to your regional Fongecif.

 

Company training plan (PFE). This allows public and private organisations to finance the costs of their employees' training, whether they are under open-ended or fixed-term contract and irrespective of time served in the organisation, and to pay them. In general, companies plan their training action over the course of a year, but if this is not the case you may submit a training finance request to your employer, making sure that you explain the relevance of the course in question to your work.

 

Professionalization periods, if you are under an open-ended contract, fixed-term integration contract or a single integration contract (CUI) and you can acquire or strengthen skills by obtaining a qualification, course funding and payment of your alary are the responsibility of your employer. Apply to the human resources department of your company, providing all the required information (course contents, training organisation, length, curriculum) and a quote for how much it will cost.

 

If you work in as a state employee (central government civil servant, regional civil servant or in the hospital sector, you can obtain a grant for 12 months in order to follow a professional or personal training/education course which is not provided for by the administration as long as you can prove 3 years' experience.

IF YOU ARE AN AGENCY WORKER

Apply to the employment agency you work for. You can also apply to FAF-TT which is the agency work insurance fund and can fund all or part of your individual training leave (CIF). You need to have completed 1600 hours of agency work in the preceding 18 months, including 600 hours in the company which signs the leave of absence authorisation. If your request is accepted, 100% of your training costs will be paid by FAF-TT and you will be paid the same salary you received during the agency assignment directly preceding the start of your course.

 

For Individual Training Entitlement (DIF), you need to be able to prove that you have completed 1800 hours of agency work during the preceding 24 months, 600 hours of which have been carried out for the agency you are applying to. Your agency assignment must be ongoing or have finished less than two months previously. There is also a contract for professional development of agency staff (CDPI), which is a contract of 175 to 450 hours of assignment-training for experienced agency workers. More information can be obtained from FAF-TT

 

Agency worker professional integration contract (CIPI), from 210 to 420 hours alternating between periods of theoretical and practical training and assignment periods.

IF YOU ARE SEEKING EMPLOYMENT

You have several options for funding your training

 

Thanks to a professionalization contract 
Course costs are paid by the host company. Professionalization contracts are available to 16-25 year olds and for those over 26 who are seeking employment and it allows worker to alternate between work for a company and professional training. Workers earn a salary according to their age and training/educational level (55% of the minimum wage for under-21 year olds, 70% of the minimum wage for those over 21 and 100% of the minimum wage for those over 26).
For more information: Le contrat de professionnalisation

 

Regional, departmental and town councils fund courses but not via direct applications. You will need to speak to advisers from Pôle emploi, Mission Locale (for those under 26 years old), Apec or Cap Emploi (for disabled workers).

Individual Training Aid (AIF) allows for course costs to be fully or partially funded. This aid is aimed at those seeking employment and whose training application corresponds to a solid employment aim.

 

Training action prior to recruitment (AFPR) is aimed at those seeking employment who have found a job but do not have the skills to be recruited for it. The worker will not have to pay and can continue to claim unemployment benefit from Pôle emploi or Mission Locale.

 

Portable Individual Training Entitlement (DIF) (until 31st December 2014). If you have time available under your Individual Training Entitlement which has not been used under a previous contract, you can use it to fund a course. You need to have left the company following a breach of contract (except in case of gross misconduct or a contract termination which allows you to claim unemployment insurance). In order to do this, you will need the approval of Pôle emploi as well as that of the accredited collecting fund for training (OPCA) which your former employer contributed to. On 1st January 2015, Individual Training Entitlement will be replaced by the personal training account (CPF), Everyone over the age of 16 in employment or seeking employment will have a CPF. The CPF will apply to people from the age of 16 throughout their career even during periods of unemployment or if they change jobs. It is credited with 150 hours per year over a maximum of 7 years.

 

Keep your unemployment benefits: if you are able to claim benefits, you can apply to keep them during your training course. Your benefits will thus become job seeking training benefits (AREF) and you will be exempt from active job seeking during the course. If you are seeking employment but unable to claim benefits, some course provide access to Pôle emploi training remuneration (RFPE). In addition, you can receive assistance with transport, food and accommodation costs directly linked to your work. 

IF YOU ARE IN A LIBERAL OR INDEPENDENT PROFESSION OR AN ENTREPRENEUR

 

• Liberal professions accredited collecting fund for training (OPCA PL)
If you are an independent worker, work in a liberal profession, a trader, an artisan, a farmer, a self-employed entrepreneur, spouse involved in the business.

For more information: contact the OPCA PL (http://www.opcapl.com) which you contribute to in order to request funding before the start of the course.

 

 

• Entrepreneurs training finance management association (AGEFICE)

 

- If you are self-employed in trade, industry and services connected to URSSAF.
For more information: get in touch with the AGEFICE contact point of your local Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chambre de commerce et d’industrie) or see: www.agefice.fr

 
- If you manage or own an agricultural/forestry/landscape gardening business. 
For more information: www.vivea.fr
• TAX CREDITS

 

In certain cases, businesses can benefit from tax credits (particularly for training of entrepreneurs, managers, sole holders...).
Your accountant will be able to provide you with more information.

IF YOU WORK IN CASUAL EMPLOYMENT (INTERMITTENT)

Training plan, professionalization periods or Individual Training Entitlement (DIF) are also available to those in casual employment. Your training rights differ according to the kind of work placement and your casual employment activity, the amount of time you have worked for and professional experience. More information available from AFDAS.

MISCELLANEOUS SUBSIDIES

• Pension funds

 

Certain pension funds have a training budget available for their contributors.

For more information: contact your pension fund to find how any subsidies are attributed.

 

 

• If you are a disabled worker

 

If you are a disabled worker, remember to contact Agefiph (Fund management association for integration of disabled people).