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Qualifications and Training

France - Qualifications and Training


There are a number of organisations that can help you to match your existing qualifications to French qualifications so that you can simplify the process of finding work. The National Recognition Centre for the UK charges a small fee for this service. Europass is an organisation which helps those in the EU to create a CV that is understood in all European countries. Europass can help to create documents which explain your qualifications clearly. Those from the UK who do not have formal qualifications but have a number of years of experience in their chosen field can contact the UK Department of Education and Skills for a ‘certificate of experience’ which will confirm the details of your work history.

There are also procedures for those who want to work in a regulated profession. This might include the medical profession or teaching. Foreign qualifications must be formally recognised in order to prevent those who are not properly qualified from claiming experience and skills that they do not have. You need to contact the regulatory body for the profession you want to enter. Each will have their own procedure for accepting qualifications and it may be of help if you have your certificates translated, but this would need to be done by an officially recognised translator.

You should be prepared for some re-training if it is considered that your qualifications do not cover the role you want to do. In some cases experience may be taken into consideration too. If you want to teach in France you will need to contact the Ministry of Education (Ministère de l’éducation nationale, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche). This department can also guide you in the right direction for other professions. It should be noted that if you are an engineer that this profession is not regulated and you do not need any formal recognition of engineering qualifications. Applications for formal recognition will normally take a few months, so if you are keen to begin work as soon as possible it may be a good idea to make the application prior to moving to the country.

France does have a number of professions that are suffering skills shortages. One of these is the IT profession. The rapid development of IT technology means that there are plenty of opportunities in data analysis, systems analysis, software programmers and developers. Specialist software packages include SAP, Oracle and Java, so those with skills and experience in these areas may find it easier to find work and there are many IT specialist recruitment companies.

Another area of work that currently has a skills shortage is the relatively new ‘green’ industry. As some renewable energy sources are only just beginning to become popular there are opportunities for experts in this field, and those who are experienced in sustainable industry practices should also be in demand as many companies are expected to make their working practices more environmentally friendly in line with European regulations.

For those within the EU there are few restrictions on the type of work you are allowed to apply for, but for those from other nations there are many restrictions and it depends where you are from as to the type of work you can apply for. Those who come from Bulgaria or Romania are restricted to a list of 150 jobs which range from engineer to lumberjack. There is also a list of the shortages which are being experienced in each region of France. These cover a wide range of skills from site technicians to construction workers. Workers from parts of Africa such as the Congo and Gabon have much shorter lists of work available to them, although immigrants from Tunisia can be considered for one of 77 job titles.

The information on skills shortages can be found on the French immigration website which has an English version too. Those who have an in-demand skill can obtain a 3 year ‘skills and talents’ residence permit if they have a firm job offer and come from a country outside the EU. This is given if the project that they are working on is considered to be beneficial for the economic development of the region or the country.


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