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

📄 Source:MENESR-DEPP.

 Coverage:Metropolitan France + overseas departments (DOM).

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.

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. 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. A small number of CFA, described as 'by national agreement', are created via an agreement entered into with the State.

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13 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 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.

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 2-year vocational diploma after the Baccalaureate), levels II and I (preparing a 2nd or 3rd cycle diploma or Grande Ecole) increased from 20,050 to 51,200 (table 13.01). From 2005, this growth accelerated further with the introduction of the vocational Bachelor's degree (LP) and the Master's. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of apprentices grew by 95.4%, an increase of nearly 9% per year on average. In 2013-14, around one apprentice in three followed a higher education course. The number of apprentices in higher education reached 138,000 in the academic year 2013-14, i.e. 2.2% of young people aged 18-25. The share of apprentices in higher education is therefore 5.5%.

Growth slowed down considerably between 2012-13 and 2013-14 (+2.0% with, in particular, a fall in the number of apprenticed Advanced technician's diploma (BTS) students (-1.5%). The number of apprentices continued to grow for Master's (+6.0%) and engineering degrees (+9.4%).

Level III represents 54% of apprentices in higher education, level II, 17% and level I, 30% (chart 13.02). Nearly one apprentice in two in higher education (44%) is preparing for a BTS, one in ten for an engineering degree (13%), a Bachelor's degree (11%) or a Master's degree (10%). The others are divided between the University technology diploma (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 to 32%. This is particularly high for Master's (54%) and Bachelor's degrees (45%), diplomas in the service sector (76% and 65% respectively) and lower for engineering diplomas that are more focused on the production sector (17%) (chart 13.03). The average age of apprentices in higher education is 21.4.

In 2013-14, over half of apprentices on the first year of a higher education course came from a training course under school status (60%). Only 24% were already apprenticed the previous year and 16% had another situation (vocational training contract, employment, unemployment or situation unknown). For first-year BTS students, 47% of apprentices had been in the general, technological or vocational final year at school the previous year, and 20% were already following apprenticeship training (chart 13.04a). Apprentices preparing for a Bachelor's degree mostly came from a training course under school status (60%), mainly a BTS or DUT (32% and 19% respectively), while one young person in four was already apprenticed (chart 13.04b). Engineering diplomas also mostly recruited young people from school (66%), mainly from DUT (33%); a quarter of young people were already apprenticed the previous year (chart 13.04c).

The share of higher education in apprenticeships varies considerably between regions. In Ile-de-France, 55% of apprentices are following a higher education course, 38% in Guyana, 30-35% in the Alsace, Franche-Comté, Martinique, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardie et Rhône-Alpes regions, compared to 16-21% in the Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne and Limousin region

📄 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 - 50 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2016. 9th ed. Chapter 13 [Accessed 06/19/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-151572-7. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/9EN/EESR9EN_ES_13-apprenticeships_in_higher_education.php

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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.

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. 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. A small number of CFA, described as 'by national agreement', are created via an agreement entered into with the State.

 

Key figures


Number of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma
138,012
 apprentices
2013-14
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing an Advanced technician's diploma/Advanced agricultural technician's diploma (BTS/BTSA)
60,834
 apprentices
2013-14
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a University technology diploma delivered by IUT (DUT)
5,836
 apprentices
2013-14
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree
15,035
 apprentices
2013-14
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
  See more key figures  
Number of apprentices preparing an engineering diploma
17,351
 apprentices
2013-14
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Number of apprentices preparing a Master's degree
13,441
 apprentices
2013-14
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a higher education diploma
+95.4%
 
2013 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. 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)
+72.1%
 
2013 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. 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)
+23.7%
 
2013 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a Bachelor's degree
+178.8%
 
2013 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing an engineering diploma
+142.6%
 
2013 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP
Variation in number of apprentices preparing a Master's degree
+348.2%
 
2013 against 2005
Metropolitan France + overseas departments
 
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Extract from the chapter "13. apprenticeships in higher education".

Source: MENESR-DEPP

13.01 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 Share of women in 2013-14 (in %) Change 2005-2013 (%)
BTS / BTSA 12,539 27,800 35,345 40,611 45,000 47,249 48,093 49,965 55,136 61,769 60,834 36.0 +72.1
DUT 2,067 4,285 4,717 5,157 5,552 5,795 5,390 5,548 5,731 5,887 5,836 37.1 +23.7
Other level III 667 3,468 4,171 4,548 5,025 5,528 6,049 6,561 6,326 7,212 7,378 55.9 +76.9
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 38.1 +67.4
Bachelor's degree 56 692 5,392 7,129 8,580 9,983 10,663 11,943 13,515 14,522 15,035 45.3 +178.8
Master's 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 50.3 -3.4
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 47.1 +52.3
Engineering diplomas 1,734 4,644 7,153 7,891 9,147 10,279 11,489 12,706 14,083 15,856 17,351 17.2 +142.6
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 54.3 +348.2
Other level I 21 379 778 1,160 2,201 5,626 6,584 7,914 8,654 9,650 10,235 47.6 +1,215.6
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 36.9 +261.8
Total 20,050 51,186 70,637 80,467 90,115 97,521 103,075 111,405 122,886 135,371 138,012 39.2 +95.4
 

1 See classification of levels in the Annex.

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

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13.02 Breakdown by course of apprentices preparing for a higher education diploma in 2013-14 (%)

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

1 See classification of levels in the Annex.

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

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13.03 Share of speciality categories according to diploma prepared in 2013-14 (%)

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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13.04a Origin of apprentices in 2013-14 (%) - 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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13.04b Origin of apprentices in 2013-14 (%) - 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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13.04c Origin of apprentices in 2013-14 (%) - in the first year of an engineering degree

BTS
DUT
Othercourses
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 publication

 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 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 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°9 - Juin 2016
13 - l’apprentissage dans le supérieur - Aurélie Demongeot
En 2013-14, 138 000 des 424 300 apprentis suivaient une formation de l’enseignement supérieur (soit 32,5 % des apprentis). Le nombre d’apprentis y a progressé de 95 % depuis 2005. La croissance est moins marquée cette dernière année (2 % contre 10,2 % l’année précédente). 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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