I had been vaguely aware that I was paying social charges for “formation” for a number of years and somebody had mentioned that you had a right to a certain amount of training each year, but I never really thought much about it. Then one day a marketing email from a random training company caused me to wonder. I googled it and set up my account on the government training site moncompteformation.gouv.fr. And when I got in, I discovered that I had nearly €2500 to spend on training. You can spend this on anything you want, as long as there is a government approved course to do it. It doesn’t have to link to previous training or occupation. If you fancy using it to learn to be a pilot or make cakes you can, even if you are currently an electrician or keep the company books.
My first thought was to spend it all on a French course, until my French friends poo-pooed the idea, saying why did I need to spend it on that when my French was perfectly good enough already. I had thought I might use a) to polish my spoken French so that I stop making silly grammatical mistakes which I don’t when I’m writing and have time to think, and b) to get a qualification to prove that I have a good enough level to apply for French nationality, but in the end I decided to park that until I actually decide to apply for French nationality.
With my other hat helping people with French bureaucracy (www.frenchpaperwork.fr), I often use the TFE site for foreign firms to deal with payroll and other personnel related paperwork. It is extremely frustrating as it is very slow, often crashes, and you can’t do half the things you need to yourself, so have to send a message to the CNFE (national centre for foreign firms) and ask them to sort it out, it takes forever and they inevitably mess it up. I have some experience with payroll producing my own payslips before the TFE existed, but that is a while back, things have changed and got more complicated, and I didn’t feel competent enough to offer it as a service to clients.
So I checked out courses for payroll administration, and today signed up to one which I can do remotely. It covers what I need to know, with an exam at the end to give me a qualification, and allow me to verify that I have understood, and a tutor to oversee my work. It’s not cheap – €1799, but fully covered by my training fund, leaving me some spare to use towards another course, or that French exam if/when I feel the need to try an become French.
The process was very quick and easy. I picked a course with good reviews, that covered what I need, clicked on the button to apply, validated the fact that I was happy to use my training fund to pay, and then got an email telling me that I have been accepted. I now have to wait till I get the course information directly from the training institution.