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

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP.

 Coverage:Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

In theory, apprentices are young people aged 16 to 25 who are preparing a vocational or technological education diploma (or a title) via a specific type of work contract, combining training in a company (under a supervisor) with study in an apprentice training centre (Centre de formation d’apprentis - CFA). Exemptions regarding age limits are possible, in cases where a person has had a series of apprenticeships, or is resuming a trade, and also for people recognised as workers with disabilities.

Apprentice training centres (Centres de formation d’apprentis - CFA) are educational institutions providing general, technological and practical education which supplements the training received in the company and works in conjunction with it. For educational monitoring they generally depend on the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR) or the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Agroalimentaire et de la Forêt - MAAF). Most have been created via five-year renewable agreements concluded between regional councils and various bodies. CFAs can be differentiated by the type of body that runs them: local authorities, chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of trade and crafts, private bodies, public teaching institutions.

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12 apprenticeships in higher education

This page has been updated. Read 17. apprenticeships in higher education in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

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.

In 1987, apprenticeships in higher education became possible. Previously, apprentices were limited to taking the Certificate of vocational aptitude (Certificat d’aptitude professionnelle - 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 2-year vocational diploma after the baccalauréat), levels II and I (preparing a 2nd or 3rd cycle diploma or Grande Ecole) increased from 20,050 to 51,200 (table 12.01). From 2005, this growth accelerated further with the introduction of the vocational Bachelor's degree (Licence professionnelle - LP) and the Master's. Between 2005 and 2012, the number of apprentices in higher education grew by 91.6%. This growth alone is responsible for the increase in apprentice numbers. In 2012-2013, almost one apprentice in three was following a course in higher education. With numbers reaching 135,400 at the start of the 2012-2013 academic year, this represents 2.1% of young people aged 18 to 25. Apprentices account for 5.5% of students in higher education.

Growth remained strong between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 (+10.2%), especially in the Master's (+13.2%) and engineering diplomas (+12.6%).

Level III represents 55.3% of apprentices in higher education, level II, 16.5%, and level I, 28.2% (chart 12.02). Almost one in two apprentices in higher education (45.6%) are preparing an Advanced technician's diploma (Brevet de technicien supérieur - BTS), and one in ten an engineering diploma (11.7%) or a Bachelor's degree (10.7%). The rest are divided between the Master's, University technology diplomas delivered by the IUT (Diplôme universitaire de technologie - DUT) and business school diplomas.

Apprenticeships in higher education, like apprenticeships in general, are taken up mainly by boys, however, the proportion of girls (39.2%) is higher than for apprenticeships overall (32.2%). This proportion of girls is particularly high for Master's (54.2%) and Bachelor's degrees (43.8%), diplomas that are geared more towards the services sector (76.9% and 64.3% respectively) and it is lower for engineering diplomas, which are geared more towards production (16.7%) (chart 12.03). The average age of apprentices in higher education is 21.4 years.

In 2012-13, more than half of apprentices in their first year of training in higher education originated from a training course under school status (51.2%). Only 23.2% of them were already apprenticed the year before, while 25.6% were in another situation (professionalisation contract, employment, unemployed or unknown situation). Among apprentices in their first year of BTS, 48.9% had been in a general, technological or vocational final year under school status the previous year, and 20.7% had already started an apprenticeship (chart 12.04a). The majority of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree came from a training course under school status (54.4%), mainly a BTS or a DUT (30.6% and 19.8% respectively), while one young person in four was already an apprentice (chart 12.04b). Engineering diplomas also recruited young people mainly via the school route (54.0%) and mainly DUTs (29.2%); the proportion of young people already apprenticed the previous year was 23.7% (chart 12.04c).

The proportion of apprentices in higher education varies greatly across the regions. In Île-de- France, 53.0% of apprentices are following a course in higher education, the figure is 30 to 33% in the Rhône-Alpes, Alsace, Guyane and Nord-Pas-de-Calais regions, compared with 17 to 20% in Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne and Limousin.

📄 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, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 12, 34-35 [Accessed 04/25/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_ES_12-apprenticeships_in_higher_education-ILL_02.php

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In theory, apprentices are young people aged 16 to 25 who are preparing a vocational or technological education diploma (or a title) via a specific type of work contract, combining training in a company (under a supervisor) with study in an apprentice training centre (Centre de formation d’apprentis - CFA). Exemptions regarding age limits are possible, in cases where a person has had a series of apprenticeships, or is resuming a trade, and also for people recognised as workers with disabilities.

Apprentice training centres (Centres de formation d’apprentis - CFA) are educational institutions providing general, technological and practical education which supplements the training received in the company and works in conjunction with it. For educational monitoring they generally depend on the French Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - MENESR) or the Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood, and Forestry (Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Agroalimentaire et de la Forêt - MAAF). Most have been created via five-year renewable agreements concluded between regional councils and various bodies. CFAs can be differentiated by the type of body that runs them: local authorities, chambers of commerce and industry, chambers of trade and crafts, private bodies, public teaching institutions.

 

Key figures


Number of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma
135,371
 apprentices
2012-13
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing an Advanced technician's diploma/Advanced agricultural technician's diploma (BTS/BTSA)
61,769
 apprentices
2012-13
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a University technology diploma delivered by IUT (DUT)
5,887
 apprentices
2012-13
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree
14,522
 apprentices
2012-13
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
  See more key figures  
Number of apprentices preparing an engineering diploma
14,856
 apprentices
2012-13
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a Master's degree
12,676
 apprentices
2012-13
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma
91.6%
 
2012 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing an Advanced technician's diploma/Advanced agricultural technician's diploma (BTS/BTSA)
74.8%
 
2012 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. 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)
24.8%
 
2012 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree
169.3%
 
2012 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing an engineering diploma
121.7%
 
2012 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a Master's degree
322.7%
 
2012 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "12. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP

12.01 Change in numbers of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma

 
1995-96 2000-01 2005-06 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Share of women in 2012-13
(%)
Change 2005-2012 (%)
BTS / BTSA 12,539 27,800 35,345 45,000 47,249 48,093 49,965 55,136 61,769 36.6 +74.8
DUT 2,067 4,285 4,717 5,552 5,795 5,390 5,548 5,731 5,887 38.6 +24.8
Other level III 667 3,468 4,171 5,025 5,528 6,049 6,561 6,326 7,212 55.3 +72.9
Total level III 1 15,273 35,553 44,233 55,577 58,572 59,532 62,074 67,193 74,868 38.5 +69.3
Bachelor's degree 56 692 5,392 8,580 9,983 10,663 11,943 13,515 14,522 43.8 +169.3
Master's 577 1,837 1,489 339 - - - - - - -
Other level II 2,196 6,919 8,182 8,279 6,038 6,724 7,246 8,247 7,799 48.4 -4.7
Total level II 1 2,829 9,448 15,063 17,198 16,021 17,387 19,189 21,762 22,321 45.4 +48.2
Engineering diplomas 1,734 4,644 7,153 9,147 10,279 11,489 12,706 14,083 15,856 16.7 +121.7
DESS 193 1,162 411 - - - - - - - -
Master's 2,999 5,992 7,023 8,083 9,522 11,194 12,676 54.2 +322.7
Other level I 21 379 778 2,201 5,626 6,584 7,914 8,654 9,650 47.7 +1,140.4
Total level I 1 1,948 6,185 11,341 17,340 22,928 26,156 30,142 33,931 38,182 37 +236.7
Total 20,050 51,186 70,637 90,115 97,521 103,075 111,405 122,886 135,371 39.2 +91.6
 

1 See classification of levels in the Annexes.

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

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12.02 Breakdown by course of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma in 2012-2013 (%)

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 Annexes.

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

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12.03 Share of speciality categories according to diploma prepared in 2012-2013 (%)

BTS
Bachelor's
Engineering
Master's
  
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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12.04a Origin of apprentices in 2012-2013 (%) - 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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12.04b Origin of apprentices in 2012-2013 (%) - on Bachelor's degree courses

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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12.04c Origin of apprentices in 2012-2013 (%) - in first year of an engineering diploma

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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Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
17 - apprenticeships in higher education - Aurélie Demongeot
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 [Consult the following page]
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]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
12 - l’apprentissage dans le supérieur - Aurélie Demongeot
En 2012-2013, 135 400 des 438 100 apprentis suivaient une formation de l’enseignement supérieur (soit 30,9 % des apprentis). Le nombre d’apprentis y a progressé de 92 % depuis 2005 et de plus de 10 % sur la dernière année. Quel que soit le diplôme préparé, le recrutement des apprentis se fait principalement dans la voie scolaire et reste majoritairement masculin [Consult the following page in french]


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