Sandwich Courses (Contrat Pro)

The sandwich courses
The courses

The sandwich course is a work-study contract of a long or short-term period.

This type of course allows a young person to obtain a recognized qualification, adapted to the sector and to the needs of a company, and helps prepare him/her for a future career.

Its quality lies in the duality of two complementary types of training :

  • Theory in the training centre
  • Practice within a company, in direct contact with the reality of the profession

These courses are open to:

  • Young people under 26 years old
  • Job seekers, registered at the Job Centre, if and when a professional sandwich course is considered necessary in the context of a return to employment.

The apprentice on this type of course is an employee with full rights. The employer has the possibility to designate a tutor but not the obligation. If he/she chooses a tutor, the latter must be chosen from among the qualified members of staff of the company, be willing and have at least two years’ experience in the domain the apprentice is training for.

Trial period: common law rules apply unless more favorable contractual terms are proposed.

There are two possible types of contract:  a short or long-term contract of 24 months and a short-term contract of 6 to 12 months when required by the nature of the qualifications being prepared.

The courses are established in function with the specific needs of Couture and Garment related companies.

A « Pattern-Making » course

The Pattern-Making course, leading to a BTS level of qualification (HND equivalent) of 2 years is open to students who have a Bac Pro (vocational baccalauréat), a Brevet Professionnel (BTEC First or Second) or an equivalent diploma in the related domain, prepares apprentices for professions in pattern-making, sample sewing, pattern-cutting and pattern-cutting using LECTRA PDS.

As the training leads to a qualification, the company signing the contract must be part of a collective agreement.

  • Long or short-term contracts of 24 months include 1,000 hours of training. Studying the human body, learning how to take measurements, analyzing and interpreting the figurine, draping, flat pattern-making (garment base and transformations), gradation, technical drawing, LECTRA PDS/CAD (Modaris, Diamino, Kaledo).
  • A long or short-term contract of 12 months for young people in possession of a qualification above level IV. Training modules in the areas of pattern-making, draping, flat pattern-making, …

A training course for the Savoir-Faire Couture

In the framework of an exclusive partnership between the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale and CHANEL, which started in 2010/2011, and whose aim is to transmit couture know-how, thereby allowing them to survive. The second school year (2011/2012) branched out to other Luxury Houses.

The profession: 

A sense of detail and of a high standard of work, respecting and understanding luxury and its associated products, the permanent demand for quality, customer satisfaction, mastering garment assembly, a flair for suit making and dressmaking, appreciating a wide range of sophisticated fabrics, taking pleasure in the new collections each season, enjoying teamwork, the final touches before making a sale, the quest for excellence.

The aim of this course is to train qualified and operational professionals for workshops and luxury boutiques.

  • Professionalizing skills for the years to come,
  • Specializing for a year in Luxury Fashion alterations
  • Training that will lead to a qualified and top-of-the-range level of alteration possibilities,

This 12-month course is organised around 3 complementary training modules:

  • Know-how : technical training
  • Knowing how to act : customer relations, teamwork,
  • Professional environment: the shop, visual identity of the brand.

The course comprising 420 hours of training approaches the following themes :

  • the human body and its different characteristics, the fall of a garment,
  • fabric knowledge
  • the fundamental principles of sewing, finishes,
  • how the suit is assembled ,
  • draping and flat pattern-making,
  • fittings, alterations,
  • the professional environment, service,
  • quality and the notion of luxury,
  • fashion vocabulary (French/English)
  • fashion history and culture
  • personal communication skills (French/English).


This specially conceived training course in selling luxury products has been implemented in coordination with luxury fashion houses that include CHANEL, CHRISTIAN DIOR, SONIA RYKIEL, YVES SAINT LAURENT…who will welcome students on the course into their shops.

The objective of this course is to train qualified and operational sales professionals for luxury fashion-house shops.


  • The universe and history of luxury
  • Fashion culture
  • Specific-product training (leather goods and clothes), knowledge of the body, different types of morphology, body-garment Relationship, fit and hang
  • Fittings
  • Materials, textiles and skins
  • The quality and notion of luxury
  • Inter-personal communication skills : customer relations (communication, introductions, personal image enhancement), and teamwork
  • Inter-cultural considerations: specificities of an international clientele (USA, China…)
  • Sales techniques
  • Marketing and communication
  • Visual merchandising
  • Professional English

BTEC holders in « Sales Unit Management » or in « Negotiation and Customer Relations » and HND holders in « Business and Sales Techniques » are eligible for application as well as applicants with an equivalent qualification.

Sales professionals wishing to broaden their professional experience towards this type of product are also accepted.

Who can hire an employee on a sandwich course basis?

This who comply with the following conditions:

  • All employers subject to further-ed tax for their employees, with the exception of the State, local authorities and public administration.
  • Temping companies can also hire employees on this basis for short-term contracts.
  • An individual employer. Set up as a three-year experiment starting from 28/072011 (the date the clause became applicable), sandwich courses can be implemented by an individual employer.

How to go about it?

The employer must send a sandwich-course contract (CERFA n° 12434*01) to an organisation known as the OPCA five days maximum after the beginning of the contract.

Benefits for the company

  • Reduction of employers’ social security contributions (Fillon law of 17th January 2003) for the portion of the salary within the minimum wage, throughout the entire sandiwh course.
  • Training costs paid for by the OPCA orgnaisation in the framework of adult education (sandwich courses leading to qualifications : 10 euros an hour before tax per training hour).
  • A bonus of 230 euros before tax per month per month (maximum duration 6 months), given to the company by the OPCA for spending linked to tutoring (suject to file analysis). Cost of tutor training, if there is any, is paid for by the body in charge of collecting employers’ training contributions (15 euros before tax an hour for up to 40 hours).
  • The apprentice is considered to be on the payroll (except for the work accident rate).
  • A bonus of 1,000 euros awarded to the company by the Job Centre for the hiring of a young person on a sandwich course.
  • A bonus of 2,000 euros awarded to the company by the Job Centre for the hiring of a job seeker of over 26 years old.

How much are trainees paid?

Remuneration is, at the very least, equal to a percentage of the minimum wage and varies according to age:

  • Under 21, 55% of the minimum wage *
  • Between 21 and 26, 70% of the minimum wage *
  • Over 26, at least equal to the minimum wage and cannot be under 85% of the minimum remuneration foreseen by collective agreement stipulations of the sector the company belongs to.

*These remunerations are increased by 10 points if the apprentice has a bac pro (vocational baccalauréat) or a professional qualification or diploma of an equivalent level).

If your company is part of the Couture Parisienne collective agreement or one pertaining to the Garment Industry, it enters into the OPCALIA/FORTHAC area of competence.

Contact : Milia Zoghbi




© photo credit : Pascal Montary