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Learning in the public service: what are the rules?

Verified 08 August 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

An apprenticeship contract is a contract of employment which enables training periods to be completed alternately in an administration and in an apprenticeship training center. How is this contract going? What's an apprentice's salary? What is the apprentice's leave? How long is the apprentice working? We're doing an update on the regulations.

Minimum age

The apprentice must be old at minimum of 16 yrs.

However, it is possible to be an apprentice at 15 years if the age is reached between the start of the school year and 31 December of calendar year.

The young person must have completed his year of 3e.

Maximum age

The apprentice must be old at maximum of 29 years (30 years minus 1 day).

The apprentice may be up to 34 years (35 years minus 1 day) in the following cases:

  • Apprentice signing a new contract to access a higher level of diploma than that already obtained
  • Previous contract of the apprentice who has been terminated for reasons beyond his control
  • Previous broken apprentice contract for physical and temporary incapacity

In such cases, it must not take more than 1 year between the 2 contracts.

Derogations from the maximum age

There's no no maximum age in the following cases:

  • Recognized apprentice handicapped worker
  • Apprentice considering starting or resuming a company with a degree
  • Apprentice registered as a high-performance athlete
  • Apprentice not having graduated and entering into a new contract with another employer to re-take the exam

The apprenticeship contract concluded in an administration is a private right of limited duration (CDL).

The contract is signed by the employer and the apprentice (and his/her legal representative, if the apprentice is a minor).

One copy is given to the apprentice, the other is kept by the employer.

Any modification of an essential element of the contract shall be subject to agreeable transmitted to the DDETS: titleContent.

Within 5 working days after the start of the apprenticeship contract, the employer shall forward the contract to the DDETS: titleContent or to the DDETSPP: titleContent.

This transmission is done by dematerialized means using the platform for dematerialization of public service learning contracts.

This platform allows public employers to enter and generate the cerfa, and then transmit the contract directly to the DDETS: titleContent or to the DDETSPP: titleContent.

Conclusion and transmission of the apprenticeship contract in the public service

The DDETS: titleContent or the DDETSPP: titleContent a 20 days to decide on the taking over of the contract. Unanswered within that period, the The request is accepted.

Please note

one mediator shall be appointed in the event of a dispute between the employer and the apprentice or his legal representative concerning the performance or termination of the apprenticeship contract.

The apprenticeship contract shall have a duration of 6 months at least to 3 years at the most. The maximum duration of the contract may be increased to 4 years where the apprentice is a handicapped worker.

The duration of the contract shall be equal to the duration of the training cycle that the apprentice is preparing to obtain his qualification. This period is fixed according to the type of profession and may vary.

It may be adapted to take account of the level of the apprentice, the skills already acquired (for example prolonged or shortened). In this case, a tripartite agreement is concluded between the CFA, the employer and the apprentice (or his legal representative if he is a minor).

The date of commencement of performance of the contract is the one at which the contract actually begins to be performed. This date is that of theoretical training in CFA or that of practical training at the employer’s premises.


An administration cannot conclude with the same apprentice more than 3 successive apprenticeship contracts.

Minimum Wage

The apprentice receives a remuneration corresponding to a percentage of the Smic: titleContent.

Tableau - Minimum monthly gross remuneration of an apprentice


16 to 17 years

18-20 years

21-25 years

26 years and older

1re year

27% of the Smic, or €471.74

43% of the Smic, or €751.30

53% of the Smic, or €926.02

100% of the Smic, or


2e year

39% of the Smic, or €681.41

51% of the Smic, or €891.07

61% of the Smic, or €1,065.79

100% of the Smic, or


3e year

55% of the Smic, or €960.96

67% of the Smic, or €1,170.62

78% of the Smic, or €1,362.82

100% of the Smic, or


Apprentices preparing a professional license in 1 year receive a remuneration corresponding to a 2e contract year.

Deductions for benefits in kind (food or accommodation) provided for in the apprenticeship contract may be made up to 75% salary.

Please note

public employers have the option of increasing the rates of pay by 10 points or 20 points.

A simulator is used to estimate the apprentice's salary:

Salary simulator for an employee on an apprenticeship or professionalization contract

Wage increase

The apprentice's pay percentage is increased by 15 points if the following 3 conditions are met :

  • Contract is concluded for a period of up to 1 year
  • Diploma or qualification prepared by the apprentice is of the same level as that previously obtained
  • The qualification sought is directly related to that resulting from the diploma or qualification previously obtained

Example :

A 19-year-old apprentice completes a new CAP in 1 year directly related to the previous CAP that lasted 2 years. His remuneration was 51% of the SMIC at the end of his last contract. He will therefore be paid 51% + 15 points or 66% SMIC.

The salary increases connected with the transition from one age group to another shall take effect from 1er the day of the month following the apprentice's birthday.

Example :

One apprentice, in 1re apprenticeship year reaches the age of 21 in March. His remuneration will be increased from 43% to 53% of the SMIC on 1er April.

Apprenticeship is based on the principle of alternating between theoretical instruction in CFA and teaching the trade at the employer with whom the apprentice has signed his employment contract.

Apprenticeship Training Center (ATC) Registration

An apprentice in a public administration receives training in an apprenticeship training center (CFA) or a vocational high school apprenticeship section.

However, a CFA may enter into an agreement with one or more CFAs managed by one of the public employers.

When learning takes place in a local authority or one of its public administrative establishments, an agreement may be concluded with the CNFPT: titleContent.

The apprentice must enter training in the 3 months which follow the start of the apprenticeship contract.

The apprentice's training in CFA must have a minimum duration of 25% the total duration of the contract.

This time is shorter than that of vocational or technological high schools, because the time spent in company is training time.


the agreement must specify how the employer is to bear the costs of transport and accommodation during practical training.

One national trades card is issued to the apprentice by the CFA.

This card can give the following advantages:

  • Access to restaurants and university accommodation
  • Discounts for leisure and sports activities (sport, cinema, theater, etc.)
  • Benefit of reduced and preferential fares for students in transport


the training can be carried out in whole or in part remotely with a follow-up by the CFA. The training agreement between the apprentice and the CFA must specify the practical arrangements.

Training in administration

The employer must provide the apprentice with hands-on training.

It entrusts the apprentice with tasks or positions that enable him to carry out operations or work in accordance with annual progress.

This progression is defined between the employers and the AFCs in which the apprentices are registered.

How are the training hours distributed?

Time spent at CFA and in company varies depending on the training. For example, 2 days at CFA and 3 days in company, or 1 month at CFA and 1 month in company.

Can the apprentice reorient himself during training?

An apprentice engaged in the preparation of a professional baccalaureate may, at the end of its 1er year, shorten his training. It can be redirected to the preparation of a certificate of professional competence (CAP), one agricultural certificate of professional competence (Capa) or agricultural professional certificate (BPA).

When the new diploma prepared is from the same professional field as the professional baccalaureate, the duration of the contract or apprenticeship period shall be reduced by 1 year.

What happens at the end of the training?

If successful, the training shall result in the award of a diploma or qualification recognized as being professional purpose.

If the examination fails, training and apprenticeship may be extended by1 year maximum.

The apprenticeship teacher is directly responsible for the apprentice's training and performs the function of guardian.

He accompanies the apprentice in his work to obtain the title or diploma prepared, in liaison with the CFA.

The employer must ensure that the apprentice teacher receives training to enable him to carry out his duties.

The apprenticeship teacher must ensure that the training given to the apprentice has not changed. It must also ensure that the acquisition of the training required to obtain the diploma is respected.


Every public official who exercises the function of a master learner shall acquire training rights.

Since 1er january 2022, the learning master shall be provided with annual flat-rate allowance of €500.

The learning master must be voluntary and major. It must also offer every guarantee of morality and possess pedagogical and professional skills.

Professional competence of the apprenticeship teacher

The professional competence requirements for being a master of apprenticeship differ according to the title or diploma held.

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Graduated or titled master of apprenticeship

The apprenticeship teacher must have a diploma or a professional qualification in the same field as that prepared by the apprentice. He must justify1 year of professional practice in relation to the qualification prepared by the apprentice.

Traineeships and periods of professionalization or apprenticeship are not taken into account in the calculation of the length of experience required.

A collective agreement or a branch agreement may contain different provisions.

Master of apprenticeship without diploma or qualification

The apprenticeship teacher must provide proof of 2 years of professional practice in relation to the qualification prepared by the apprentice.

Traineeships and periods of professionalization or apprenticeship are not taken into account in the calculation of the length of experience required.

How many apprentices per apprentice teacher?

One establishment can accommodate the maximum number of guests 2 apprentices and 1 doubling per learning master.

The Departmental Employment and Integration Committee may grant derogations from this ceiling.


a number of teaching teachers may perform their duties within the institution. In this case, a reference learning master is designated from the tutorial team. It coordinates and liaises with the CFA.

The rules differ depending on whether the apprentice is an adult or a minor.


The working time of the apprentice is the same as that of other employees. The legal working time number is fixed at 35 hours a week.

CFA training time is actual working time and account in the work schedule.

He can work overtime.


The legal duration of actual work is set at 35 hours per week.

CFA training time is actual working time and account in the work schedule.

The following rules shall apply to the minor apprentice:

  • 2 consecutive rest days per week
  • The apprentice cannot work on Sundays, except in certain sectors of activity
  • The night work is forbidden between 10pm and 6am for a young person aged 16 to 18 and between 8pm and 6am for a young person under 16, except derogations
  • 35 hours of work per week
  • The apprentice may exceptionally work 5 hours of overtime per week, with the agreement of the labor inspector and opinion of the occupational physician
  • 8 hours of work per day
  • Not more than 4 hours 30 consecutive hours, which shall be followed by a break of 30 consecutive minutes
  • Prohibition to work on legal holiday

How is the apprentice’s paid leave calculated?

The apprentice is entitled to paid leave legal, that is 5 weeks of paid leave per year. The employer has the right to decide the period during which the apprentice can take his leave.

If the apprentice is under 21 years of age on April 30 of the previous year, the apprentice may apply for additional unpaid leave, up to 30 working days per year. The age requirement shall be examined on 30 April of the year preceding the application.

Is the apprentice entitled to an examination leave?

For the preparation of his tests, the apprentice is entitled to an additional leave of 5 working days in the month preceding them. These days are in addition to paid leave and are paid.

What are the apprentice’s other holidays?

An apprentice can benefit from a maternity leave.

An apprentice may also benefit from a paternity leave.

An apprentice shall be entitled to the same leave as any other employee:

The apprentice is granted an exceptional 1-day absence to participate in the defense and citizenship day. This absence does not result in a loss of wages.

At the time of hiring

The apprentice benefits from a information and prevention visit (VIP) in connection with his employment. It must take place in 2 months that follow the hiring.

Where the apprentice is a minor, or where night work, this information and prevention visit must take place before he was hired.

If the apprentice is assigned to regulated works, one medical examination for suitability for employment must be carried out by an authorized doctor front assignment to the position.

The list of accredited doctors is available on the websites of the territorially competent regional health agencies.

Other medical examinations

The apprentice also benefits from periodic visits and the resumption visit after a work stoppage.

Infographic - How to break the apprenticeship contract?

To provide a summary understanding of the types of breaches of apprenticeship contracts by the apprentice. - plus de détails dans le texte suivant l'infographie
Crédits : Service Public (DILA)How to break the apprenticeship contract?

How to break the apprenticeship contract?

You have the right to terminate your apprenticeship contract during training. The conditions vary depending on the length of time already spent in the public employer's service.

Start of practical training for the public employer

Case 1

During the first 45 days of practical training

Possible break at your initiative - in writing

Case 2

After the first 45 days of practical training

Possible breakdown in agreement with your employer


Possible breakdown after contacting the mediator appointed by the public employer and informing your employer


Possible breakdown if you graduate and if you inform your employer in writing at least 1 month before the end of the contract

The apprenticeship contract may be broken. Conditions vary by time already passed in administration.

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Within the first 45 days

The contract may be terminated in writing by the employer or by the apprentice.

This rupture must occur before the end of the 45 first days practical training in administrationeven if they are not consecutive.

After 45 days

The contract may be terminated in any of the following:

  • By mutual agreement between employer and apprentice
  • By the apprentice who must grasp the mediator. He shall then inform his employer after a minimum period of 5 calendar days. The termination of the contract shall take place after a minimum period of 7 calendar days after the employer has been informed.
  • By the apprentice who obtains his diploma before the time initially fixed provided that he informs his employer in writing 1 month in advance
  • By the employer for serious misconduct, incapacity, force majeure and the permanent exclusion of the apprentice from the CFA, in accordance with the dismissal on personal grounds

Following the termination of his contract, the apprentice who has not found a new employer can continue his theoretical training for 6 months in CFA. In this case, he shall have the status of trainee for vocational training. He retains his social rights.

The employer shall inform the DDETS: titleContent the termination of the apprenticeship contract before its expiry.

Who shall I contact

The apprentice is insured under the general social security scheme and the supplementary pension scheme (Ircantec) non-permanent public officials.

In the event of unemployment, the apprentice shall be entitled to compensation in the same special conditions only a public official.

No, services performed by the apprentice under his apprenticeship contract are not considered as public services in the public service.

This period of learning is not taken into account for accessing internal competitions.

However, the duration of the apprenticeship contract shall be taken into account when calculating the length of service required to attend the 3rd competition.

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