Convention de Stage

DirectionOur class had their first meeting today regarding internships, the stage. There was some good news and bad news.

Let’s start with the bad news. There has been a recent trend with the big luxury names in pastry. They’re cutting corners where they can –  unnecessary paperwork and cost savings. There is a law in France that says if you take on a stagiere for 2 months, you don’t have to pay them. Generally, the duration of stage is 3 – 6 months. So, this loop hole is an attractive one for employers especial considering the financial and economic status of France right now. But where does that leave soon to be stagiaires? Are the big names totally ruled out? Well, no, they’re not. It’s possible to take up a 2 month stage but don’t hope that the company or employer will keep you on, and to get your Diploma, in France you need a minimum of 3 months internership, or stage.

More bad news. Those on Visas. The students were told today that over the last 2 years not one single person on a Visa was able to secure a full time permanent working contract outside the internship, stage. France does not want you. It already has to deal with its accumulating high unemployment rates which also counts for high immigration numbers. All these people need to have jobs in France before you do. You speak French. Great. That still doesn’t help if you’re not an EU citizen. Find an employer who is willing to take on an accountant, a lawyer and have all the papers filed for you at the prefecture so that he or she can take you on a permanent basis. And everyone knows that France loves its paperwork and to get anything read, checked, signed and approved takes forever. But, I’m a firm believer in ‘there’s always a way’, and there’s always the exception. Good luck to you.

The Good news (at least for me). We don’t have to choose stage just yet. Phew. It’s only been 6 weeks into the course. Our school will organise our internships. We can provide a list of our 1st, 2nd and 3rd option. Our chef will then advise on the suitable location for us. He will select it by our capabilities, personality and language abilities because all of this has to be compatible with your new working environment. I can’t help comparing myself to the more advanced experienced students. Will they take all the super cool internships? What will be left for me? There’s a high unemployment level in France!

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