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European Year of Skills
News article19 April 2024Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

How to facilitate the Job-to-Job transition: the French approach with CPF

During the meeting of the National Coordinators of the European Year of Skills on 29 November 2023, France and Germany brought forth a significant proposal.They suggested to focus on the vital topic of Job-to-Job transition in one of the breakout sessions. 

Mon Compte formation

This choice was motivated by three crucial reasons: 

  1. Recognising the importance of training and acknowledging career trajectories in addressing this pressing issue;. 

  1. Considering the OECD's projection that a third of individuals will need to switch jobs within the next decade;. 

  1. Acknowledging that job transition impacts individuals across all age groups. 


These points underscore the urgency and universality of discussing strategies for navigating job transitions effectively. This article highlights how France develops the main features of the  personal training account (CPF). 

To promote their access to lifelong professional training, each person has a personal training account from the time they enter the labour market until retirement, regardless of their status. 

The CPF was created by two national interprofessional agreements between the social partners in 2013 and transposed into law in 2014. Extended to civil servants, it has become universal and is open to anyone aged 16 or over.  

It takes the form of an account funded in euros each year, i.e. €500 per year, €800 for an unqualified audience, within the limit of a total over 10 years. This account contributes to the acquisition of a first level of qualification or the development of skills and qualifications. It is used to finance certifying training, skills assessment, or support for VAE. The person uses a smartphone app to choose and buy the desired action. 

Growth has been spectacular: 489 000 trainings in 2019, 1 million in 2020, 2.1 million in 2021 and 1,8 million in 2022. 

This success is based on the following key success:   

  • Individual initiative: the CFP offers individuals freedom of choice in terms of the training they wish to take to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones. It thus contributes to the autonomy of individuals in managing their careers, enabling them to adapt to rapid changes in the job market. In ¾ of cases, registration is initiated by the person following the courses. This is essential, as motivation is often lacking, particularly among the least trained groups, who are most in need of training;  

  • Portability: the personal training account (CPF) is attached to the individual, not to the employment contract or status. The euros credited to the account remain fully acquired by the individual in the event of a change of status, professional situation or job loss, whatever the reason for termination of the employment contract; 

  • Easy access: the "Mon Compte Formation" application provides simple, equal access to training for all employees. Using their CPF, employees can consult the amount in euros available for training, find the course that best suits their needs, and register and pay for the course online. 

A recent analysis of training data reveals significant trends, showcasing the effectiveness of the Individual Learning Account (ILA) in providing equal access to education and skills development. 

Key findings highlight gender parity and the ILA's reach across diverse educational backgrounds, benefiting over 40% of users without diplomas. Notably, it supports individuals in later career stages, with 30% aged 45 and above, and aids job seekers, constituting a third of users. Training emerges as a catalyst for professional advancement, with 80% of courses tailored to career objectives. Remarkably, a third of participants credit training for securing new job placements. In 2022, training in transportation dominates at 25.5%, followed by a notable surge in professional skills development to 21%. Meanwhile, modern language courses decline slightly to 13.5%, while secretariat and office automation training witness an uptick to 11.2%. 

These insights underscore ILA's role in leveling the training field and highlight the transformative power of education in shaping careers and meeting industry needs.