The government wants to save money on professionalization contracts

From May 1, 2024, recruitment assistance under professionalization contracts will be history. In its objective of making 200 million euros in savings on expenses linked to apprenticeship, recalled by the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, during his interview on April 18 on BFM-TV, the government proposed, on April 14 April, to the National Commission for Collective Bargaining, Employment and Vocational Training (CNNCEFP) a draft decree aimed at eliminating this aid for contracts signed from May 1.

Professionalization contracts allow the employee to acquire a professional qualification recognized by the State, in parallel with theoretical education provided in a training organization or in a company. Intended in particular for young people aged 16 to 20 who have left the school system without qualifications, job seekers and people receiving RSA, they aim to promote professional integration.

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In 2020, the government put in place a one-off aid of 6,000 euros paid to the employer to support recruitment in this form. Extended on December 30, 2023 for the whole of 2024, it is finally subject to the budget cut initially intended for apprenticeship. The aid of 6,000 euros would now only be paid for the recruitment of apprentices, according to the AEF press agency.

A brutal decision

The stakes are high; 115,994 professionalization contracts were signed in 2023, indicates the management of research, studies and statistics of the Ministry of Labor (Dares), which notes a decrease of 22.4% between January 2023 and January 2024 These figures are certainly much lower than those for apprenticeship contracts: 852,235 signatures in 2023, up 10.1% between January 2023 and January 2024.

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The Consumer and Distribution Federation (FCD), a professional organization bringing together the majority of professionals in the sector, however regrets a brutal and unfair decision, given the usefulness of such a system. Faced with such a gap, the organization questions the lack of equity, in a situation where the budgetary effort seems poorly distributed. Layla Rahhou, general delegate of the FCD, demands at least “an identical reduction in aid granted to apprenticeship contracts and professionalization contracts”.

Beyond the economic upheaval that such a measure implies for the employers concerned, the elimination of this aid raises a question of social justice. The public targeted by the professionalization contract notably includes a segment of the population whose access to employment is far from privileged. The draft decree therefore appears to be an effort made on the backs of those furthest from employment, particularly when we know that the volume of apprenticeships constitutes a real savings opportunity for the government.

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