Visuel consacré à l'alternance

What is alternation?

A training scheme that alternates theoretical phases at the University with practical phases in companies. 

A degree, a job, a salary

Work-study programs are a real springboard to employment and a facilitator for the professional integration of young people. The work-study program allows students to accelerate their rise in skills and to give meaning to their training by directly putting into practice the skills acquired in university training and by arriving with real problems encouraging the young trainees and the speakers to question themselves on concrete cases.

Two types of alternation

There are two types of work-study contracts:

  • The apprenticeship contract: only young people between the ages of 16 and 29 are eligible for an apprenticeship contract. Beyond 29 years old people with a disability, creators or resumers of companies and high-level athletes can enter.
  • The professionalization contract:  it concerns young people aged 16 to 25 years, job seekers aged 26 years and over, people with a subsidized contract, beneficiaries of the active solidarity income, beneficiaries of the specific solidarity allowance, beneficiaries of the allowance to disabled adults, beneficiaries of the single parent allowance.

The advantages of work-study programs

For the young person: 

  • obtain a diploma training and a real experience in a company ;
  • facilitate his professional integration and adaptation ;
  • have a wider range of skills ;
  • know the corporate world, its rites, its culture ;
  • benefit from a free and paid training ;
  • start as soon as possible its pension contributions ;
  • Above all, help him in the construction of his professional project.

For the company: 

  • train a future employee adapted to its needs ;
  • test him over a long period ;
  • insert him into the company culture ;
  • receive financial benefits.

Which employers are concerned by work-study programs?

Those contributing to the financing of continuing professional education:

  • private companies in any sector: craft, commercial, industrial, agricultural,
  • the associative circles,
  • the liberal professions,
  • the public sector companies: state, territorial and hospital civil services and public administrative establishments (except for professionalization contracts).

Duration of the contract:

Duration of the contract

It depends on the duration of the training. It is often two years but this duration can be less (6 months) or more (3 years), 4 years for disabled workers. The duration of the training represents at least 25% of the total duration of the contract or of the apprenticeship period in the case of an apprenticeship contract. The duration of the training represents between 15 and 25% of the duration of the contract without being able to be less than 150 hours within the framework of the professionalization contract, except for branch dispensation.

Cost of the training

The cost is covered by France Compétences and companies are exempt from charges.

Apply for training

File review and selection interview. Only the obtaining of the contract will allow to integrate the training (a delay of two months can be granted after the beginning of the training).


Generation card, help with financing the B license.


Service chargé de l'alternance

Institut Sociétés et Humanités

Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France
Le Mont Houy, bâtiment Matisse
59313 Valenciennes CEDEX 9