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Accessing (Free) Training Courses In France

French paperwork can be a minefield, but amongst all the administration, there are some hidden gems. Did you know that you could be eligible for free training courses in France thanks to the social charges your employer has been required to pay on your behalf? is a government website that keeps a track of your personal allowance. It also has links to thousands of courses you're eligible for.

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Who Is Eligible for Free Training Courses?

Anyone in the French employment system can access free training and education, whether you're an employee, self-employed, a business owner or between work.

There are no extra declarations to make on your part (for once!) Your social charges, which are paid either by your employer or through your declarations to your CFE (Centre des Formalités des Entreprises) are communicated directly to the Caisse des Dépots.

For a full year of work, 500€ is contributed to your fund, with a limit of 5000€ in total. Of course, there are more calculations than that if you’re not a typical case. Take a look here to understand more about your rights based on your situation.

How Much Is My Allowance?

To find out the value of your allowance, simply create an account on the website using your social security number. Your previous years of work in France will have been taken into account and the amount you have available to spend will be immediately visible. Your allowance is updated each year at the end of June for your previous year’s work.

Find A Training Course For You

Now you have your budget, you can look for your course. The course search on the website is comprehensive and you’ll find hundreds of courses from universities across France, as well as individual training centres. Courses cover all imaginable subject areas. There are both online and in-person courses, intellectual and artisanal, language, health & safety and more.

As you search, make sure you look out for a few key things:

  • Are there entry requirements?

  • Does the timing suit you?

  • Can the schedule be adapted to your availability?

  • Do you have to go to a training centre? If so, is it nearby?

  • What qualifications will you come out with?

  • Are you required to do a stage (internship) in a company?

Essentially, make sure the course is right for you before signing up.

Spending Your Allowance

The courses can range from hundreds to thousands of euros, so you might not be able to cover the whole cost of the course with your budget. If this is the case, you'll need to pay the difference.

Top tips:

  • Ask your employer whether they'll pay the difference if the skills you'll gain will be of benefit to your company;

  • Contact the training centre to see if they offer any discounts to the part you have to pay (you can often negotiate);

  • Contact Pole-Emploi, they also offer some contributions for certain training courses.

Signing Up

Once you’ve chosen your course, and you know how you’re financing it all, it’s time to sign up! Depending on the course, this could be done directly on the course page, or through the university site.

If you need any help accessing your allowance or finding out about the courses available and how to finance them, get in touch today.

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