Industrial placements: a guide for students

Professional success thanks to industrial placements:

  • Obtain a Bachelor’s (Licence) or a Master’s degree while working and being paid.
  • Receive support from a placement supervisor in order to acquire a professional qualification while in a company.
  • Benefit from a structured education at Esepac

Industrial placements are a specific type of work contract, that is to say that your work is divided between the company which employs you and Esepac where you study courses.

It is a fixed-term contract of employment (CDD).

The contract is signed by you and your employer. You become an employee of the company on the same basis as other employees, with the same rights and responsibilities.

Your tutor, i.e. your apprenticeship and placement supervisor, trains you and you will take on responsibilities.

Esepac provides you with the required base of knowledge and the structures which enable you to evolve in your post.

French employment law governs the terms of your industrial placement employment through the following texts of the Code du Travail, which determine the rights and responsibilities of all parties to the contract:

  • Code du travail : articles L6222-15 à L6222-17
  • Code du travail : article L6222-23
  • Code du travail : articles L6222-30 à L6222-32
  • Code du travail : articles L6222-34 à L6222-36
  • Code du travail : article L6222-36-1
  • Code du travail : articles L6225-4 à L6225-7
  • Code du travail : article R6225-9

The apprenticeship contract determines the respective commitments of all three parties:

The apprenticeship is the subject of a specific contract of work concluded with an employer, and as such fixes the rights and responsibilities of three parties: the apprentice, the training centre (CFA), the business.

The employer undertakes to:

  • Provide the apprentice with comprehensive professional training that is appropriate to the role,
  • Designate an apprenticeship supervisor who is responsible for the apprentice’s training in the company,
  • Enable the apprentice to follow academic courses at Esepac,
  • Pay a salary that meets the legal minimum rates, from the signature of the contract until its termination (this includes the periods when the trainee is attending the school)

The apprentice undertakes to:

  • Respect the company’s rules,
  • Work for the employer and carry out the work allocated in accordance with the role and career for which he or she is preparing,
  • Attend classes and academic courses at the training centre (Esepac) and abide by its rules,
  • Attend required exams.

Esepac undertakes to:

  • Define the objectives of its education and training courses.
  • Provide general and technological training.
  • Keep apprenticeship supervisors informed.
  • Monitor the apprentice’s training both in the company and at the school.

Apprentice salaries (industrial placement contracts)

Apprentices work on industrial placements, i.e. spend their time alternating between the company which takes them on and Esepac, where they follow theoretical and practical courses.

Apprentices are remunerated which is determined as a specified percentage of France’s minimum wage (SMIC).

Nonetheless, this remuneration may be higher than the SMIC if the company applies agreements (through collective bargaining, professional bodies, company…) which offer a higher minimum salary than the SMIC.

Gross and net monthly salaries

An apprentice’s salary is completely exempted from income tax, within the limits of the SMIC.

1st year remuneration
Under 18 years 18 to 20 years 21 years and older
25 % of the SMIC* 41 % of the SMIC 53 % of the SMIC
364,38 € 597,58 € 772,49 €
2nd year remuneration
Under 18 years 18 to 20 years 21 years and older
37 % of the SMIC 49 % of the SMIC 61 % of the SMIC
539,28 € 714,18 € 889,09 €
Remuneration under a professional training contract
Initial professional training 16-20 years 21-25 years 26 years and over
Higher than or equivalent to bac pro (secondary school certificate) 65 % of the SMIC 80 % of the SMIC 85 % of the negotiated minimum salary, which must not be lower than the SMIC

Apprentices, employees in their own right

Apprentices enjoy the same benefits as the other employees in the company, whether these benefits result from French employment law (Code du travail), collective bargaining, company agreement or custom (article L.6222-23 of the Code du travail).


Apprentices have the same rights to holiday as all other employees

Paid leave

Apprentices have the right to statutory paid holidays: five weeks of paid holiday annually, (or two and a half workable days per month of work completed during the period from 1st June to the following 31st May)

First year

Having the right to paid holidays does not necessarily mean that these can be taken right away!  In fact, for the first year, it is specified that the period of reference must elapse before paid holidays can be taken.

For example, if you start on 1st November, you will be able to take your holidays from the 31st May of the following year: 2.5 days x 7 months = 21 days.

Other holidays

All apprentices also benefit from statutory holidays as follows:

Bank Holidays:

  • 1st January, Easter Monday, 1st May, 8th May, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, 14th July, 15th August, 1st November, 11th November, Christmas

Family events:

  • 4 days for the apprentice’s marriage
  • 3 days (authorised by the Code du travail and paid by the company) for the birth of a child, plus paternity leave (paid by French health insurance) of 11 consecutive, non-divisible days (Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays are to be counted in these 11 days).
  • 2 days for the death of the apprentice’s spouse or child
  • 1 day for the death of the apprentice’s father or mother


You take the same exams are students studying in other higher education establishments which offer traditional courses (e.g. professional or technological secondary schools, University Institutes of Technology,…).

Training fees

Your studies are paid for by your employer.  However, you must meet the costs of your accommodation, food, transport and other costs of living.