Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP.

 Coverage:Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

Apprentice training centres (CFA) are educational institutions providing general, technological and practical education, which supplement the training received in the company and work in conjunction with it. Educational supervision is generally exercised by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (MENESR) or the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (MAAF). Most have been created via five-year renewable agreements concluded between regional councils and various bodies.

Apprentices are young people aged 16-25 who are preparing for a vocational or technological qualification (or title) via a specific type of employment contract, combining in-company training - under the responsibility of an apprentice supervisor - with education provided in an apprenticeship training centre. Exemptions to the age limit are possible, in cases where a person has had a series of apprenticeships, or is resuming a trade, and also for people recognised as having disabilities.

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17 apprenticeships in higher education

In 2014-15, 138,800 of the 405,900 apprentices were following a higher education course (i.e. 34.2%). The number of apprentices increased by 97% since 2005 but is stable over the last year (+0.6%). Regardless of the course followed, apprentices are mainly recruited through schools and are mostly male.

In 1987, apprenticeships in higher education became possible. Previously, apprentices were limited to taking the Certificate of Vocational Aptitude (CAP), but the Seguin reform extended the apprenticeship system to all levels of training and education. However, it was only after 1995 that this system really began to develop.

Between 1995 and 2000, the number of apprentices at level III (preparing a two-year vocational diploma after the baccalauréat) and levels II and I (preparing a second or third cycle diploma or grande école) increased from 20,050 to 51,200 (table 17.01). From 2005, this growth accelerated further with the introduction of the vocational Bachelor degree and the Master's. Between 2005 and 2014, the number of these apprentices grew by 97%. In 2014-15, slightly more than one apprentice in three followed a higher education course. The number of apprentices in higher education reached 138,000 at the start of the 2014-15 academic year, i.e. 2.2% of young people aged 18-25. The share of apprentices in higher education was therefore 5.4%.

Apprentice numbers in higher education stagnated this year due to a drop in numbers preparing for a level III qualification (-3.6%). The number of apprentices preparing for a DUT remained virtually unchanged, but there was a decline in those studying for a BTS or preparing for another level III qualification. The number of apprentices continued to grow for Master's (+2.6%), Bachelor degrees (+5.3%) and engineering degrees (+7.3%).

Level III represented 51% of apprentices in higher education, level II, 17% and level I, 31% (chart 17.02). 42% of apprentices in higher education were studying for a BTS and one in ten for an engineering degree, Bachelor degree or Master’s. The others were divided between DUT and business school diplomas.

Most apprentices in higher education, as with apprentices in general, are male, but the proportion of women is higher than for apprentices as a whole: 39% compared with 32%. This is particularly high for Master's (54%) and Bachelor degrees (45%), diplomas in the service sector (75% and 64% respectively) and lower for engineering diplomas that are more focused on the production sector (18%) (chart 17.03). The average age of apprentices in higher education is 21.4.

In 2014-15, over half of apprentices in the first year of a higher education course came from a training course under school status (63%). 22% were already apprenticed the previous year and 15% had another situation (vocational training contract, job, unemployment, etc.). For first-year BTS students, 48% of apprentices had been in the general, technological or vocational final year at school the previous year and 19% were already following apprenticeship training (chart 17.04a). Apprentices preparing for a Bachelor degree mostly came from a training course under school status (63%), mainly a BTS or DUT (32% and 20% respectively), while one young person in four was already apprenticed (chart 17.04b). Engineering diplomas also mostly recruited young people from school (66%), mainly from DUT (32%); a quarter of young people were already apprenticed the previous year (26%) (chart 17.04c).

The share of higher education in apprenticeships varies considerably between French academic regions. In Ile-de-France, 57% of apprentices are following a higher education course and 30 to 36% in the academic regions of Guyana, Martinique, Hauts-de-France, Grand-Est, Occitanie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Guadeloupe. The share of higher education is between 24 and 30% in the other academic regions, except in Mayotte where there is no higher education.

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP.
 Coverage:Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

How to cite this paper :

DEMONGEOT Aurélie. Apprenticeships in higher education. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2017. 10th ed. Chapter 17 [Accessed 10/20/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-152033-2. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/10EN/EESR10EN_ES_17-apprenticeships_in_higher_education.php

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Apprentice training centres (CFA) are educational institutions providing general, technological and practical education, which supplement the training received in the company and work in conjunction with it. Educational supervision is generally exercised by the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (MENESR) or the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (MAAF). Most have been created via five-year renewable agreements concluded between regional councils and various bodies.

Apprentices are young people aged 16-25 who are preparing for a vocational or technological qualification (or title) via a specific type of employment contract, combining in-company training - under the responsibility of an apprentice supervisor - with education provided in an apprenticeship training centre. Exemptions to the age limit are possible, in cases where a person has had a series of apprenticeships, or is resuming a trade, and also for people recognised as having disabilities.

 

Key figures


Variation in number of apprentices preparing an Advanced technician's diploma/Advanced agricultural technician's diploma (BTS/BTSA)
+65.9%
 
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing an engineering diploma
+160.3%
 
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a Master's degree
+359.6%
 
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree
+193.6%
 
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
  See more key figures  
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a University technology diploma delivered by IUT (DUT)
+22.9%
 
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma
+96.5%
 
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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<iframe src='https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/10EN/CC-2994-variation_in_number_of_apprentices_preparing_a_higher_education_diploma.php' width='100%' height='155 px' frameborder='0' id='GC' scrolling='no' style='min-width:240px; max-width:490px'></iframe>
Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a Master's degree
13,441
 apprentices
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing an engineering diploma
18,620
 apprentices
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
  See more key figures  
Number of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma
138,012
 apprentices
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing an Advanced technician's diploma/Advanced agricultural technician's diploma (BTS/BTSA)
58,620
 apprentices
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a University technology diploma delivered by IUT (DUT)
5,799
 apprentices
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree
15,830
 apprentices
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "17. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP

17.01 Change in numbers of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma

 
1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 Share of women in 2014-15 (%) Change 2005-2014 (%)
BTS / BTSA 12,539 27,800 35,345 40,611 45,000 47,249 48,093 49,965 55,136 61,769 60,834 58,620 36.0 +65.9
DUT 2,067 4,285 4,717 5,157 5,552 5,795 5,390 5,548 5,731 5,887 5,836 5,799 36.7 +22.9
Other level III 667 3,468 4,171 4,548 5,025 5,528 6,049 6,561 6,326 7,212 7,378 7,000 55.6 +67.8
Total level III 1 15,273 35,553 44,233 50,316 55,577 58,572 59,532 62,074 67,193 74,868 74,048 71,419 37.9 +61.5
Bachelor's degree 56 692 5,392 7,129 8,580 9,983 10,663 11,943 13,515 14,522 15,035 15,830 45.3 +193.6
Maîtrise 577 1,837 1,489 861 339
Other level II 2,196 6,919 8,182 8,471 8,279 6,038 6,724 7,246 8,247 7,799 7,902 7,913 50.5 -3.3
Total level II 1 2,829 9,448 15,063 16,461 17,198 16,021 17,387 19,189 21,762 22,321 22,937 23,743 47.0 +57.6
Engineering diplomas 1,734 4,644 7,153 7,891 9,147 10,279 11,489 12,706 14,083 15,856 17,351 18,620 17.5 +160.3
DESS 193 1,162 411
Master's 2,999 4,639 5,992 7,023 8,083 9,522 11,194 12,676 13,441 13,784 54.2 +359.6
Other level I 21 379 778 1,160 2,201 5,626 6,584 7,914 8,654 9,650 10,235 11,210 48.8 +1,340.9
Total level I 1 1,948 6,185 11,341 13,690 17,340 22,928 26,156 30,142 33,931 38,182 41,027 43,614 37.9 +284.6
Total 20,050 51,186 70,637 80,467 90,115 97,521 103,075 111,405 122,886 135,371 138,012 138,776 39.3 +96.5
 

1 See classification of levels in the Annex.

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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17.02 Breakdown by course of apprentices preparing for a higher education diploma in 2014-15 (%)

BTS / BTSA
DUT
Other level III
Bachelor's degree
Other level II
Engineering diplomas
Master's
Other level I
Level I 1
Level II 1
Level III 1
 
 

1 See classification of levels in the Annex.

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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17.03 Share of speciality categories according to diploma prepared in 2014-15 (%)

BTS
Bachelor's degree
Engineering
Master's degree
  
Production sector
Services sector
Speciality sector 1
 
 

1 Diplomas that include general subjects, especially mathematics, sciences, human sciences, law, humanities and arts.

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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17.04a Origin of apprentices in 2014-15 (%) - in first year of BTS

General final year
Technological and agricultural final year
Vocational final year
Other higher education course
Apprentices
Other situations
Other status
Apprentice status
School status
 
 
📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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17.04b Origin of apprentices in 2014-15 (%) - in the first year of a Bachelor's degree

BTS
DUT
Other courses
BTS
DUT
Other courses
Other situations
Other status
Apprentice status
School status
 
 
📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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17.04c Origin of apprentices in 2014-15 (%) - in the first year of an engineering degree

BTS
DUT
Other courses
BTS
DUT
Other courses
Other situations
Other status
Apprentice status
School status
 
 
📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP
 Coverage: Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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Related statistical publications

 Note d'information DEPP 16.29 - L’apprentissage au 31 décembre 2015 - Aurélie Demongeot, Denise Latouche - November 2016
Au 31 décembre 2015, les centres de formation d’apprentis accueillent 405 200 apprentis, soit une stabilité par rapport à 2014 (- 0,2 %). La baisse s’atténue fortement dans l’enseignement secondaire (- 2,2 % contre - 6,7 % entre 2014 et 2015), tandis que la croissance de l’apprentissage dans l’enseignement supérieur s’accélère de façon marquée (+ 3,8 % après + 0,6 % en 2014). Le nombre d’entrées en apprentissage est en progression en 2015 (+ 1,9 %). Les entrées à l’issue de la classe de troisième augmentent de 3,1 %.

Le poids de l’apprentissage parmi les 16-25 ans remonte de 0,2 point.
 Note d'information DEPP 16.04 - L’apprentissage au 31 décembre 2014 - Denise Latouche - February 2016
Au 31 décembre 2014, les centres de formation d’apprentis accueillaient 405 900 apprentis, soit une baisse de 4,4 % par rapport à 2013. La baisse s’est accentuée dans l’enseignement secondaire (- 6,7 % contre - 5,4 % entre 2012 et 2013) et dans le supérieur pour le niveau III. Toutefois, la baisse des entrées en apprentissage est moins marquée en 2014 qu’en 2013. L’apprentissage dans l’enseignement secondaire se concentre sur les CAP alors que c’est sur les BTS dans le supérieur.

Plus des trois quarts des académies ont enregistré une baisse supérieure à 3 % de leurs effectifs d’apprentis. Paris et la Martinique se sont distinguées par une hausse portée par le supérieur. L’âge moyen des apprentis continue d’augmenter et atteint 19,4 ans fi n 2014.
 Note d'information DEPP 15.03 - Baisse de l’apprentissage en 2013 - Roselyne Kerjosse - February 2015
Fin 2013, les centres de formation d’apprentis accueillent 424 350 apprentis, soit une baisse de 3,1 % par rapport à 2012. La baisse s’accentue dans l’enseignement secondaire (-  5,4 %), tandis que la croissance de l’apprentissage dans l’enseignement supérieur ralentit (+ 2 %). Cette diminution résulte d’une baisse brutale de 14 700 entrées en apprentissage (-  6,5 %), en particulier à l’issue de la classe de troisième, alors que les effectifs sortant de cette classe progressaient de 0,2 %.

Les formations préparant à un CAP subissent la moitié de cette réduction des entrées, celles à un BTS, un quart, et celles à un baccalauréat professionnel 16 %. Parmi les académies à forte tradition d’apprentissage, seule celle de Nantes résiste avec la baisse des entrées la plus faible, tandis que l’académie de La Réunion se distingue par une hausse.

Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
13 - apprenticeships in higher education - Aurélie Demongeot
In 2013-2014, 138,000 of the 424,300 apprentices were following a higher education course (i.e. 32.5%). Growth was less marked this year (2% compared to 10.2% the previous year). Regardless of the course followed, apprentices are mainly recruited through schools and are mostly male [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 8th edition - November 2015
12 - apprenticeships in higher education - Aurélie Demongeot
In 2012-2013, 135,400 of the 438,100 apprentices were following a higher education course (i.e. 30.9%). This number has grown by 92% since 2005 and by more than 10% in the last year. Irrespective of the diploma apprentices are working towards, they are mainly recruited through the vocational track in high school and the majority are young men [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°10 - Avril 2017
17 - l’apprentissage dans le supérieur - Aurélie Demongeot
En 2014-15, 138 800 des 405 900 apprentis suivaient une formation de l’enseignement supérieur (soit 34,2 % des apprentis). Le nombre d’apprentis y a progressé de 97 % depuis 2005, mais est stable sur la dernière année (+ 0,6 %). Quel que soit le diplôme préparé, le recrutement des apprentis en première année de formation se fait principalement dans la voie scolaire et reste majoritairement masculin [Consult the following page in french]


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