France to spend 1 billion euros to boost learning

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PARIS (Reuters) – The French government announced Thursday that it will launch a program to boost apprenticeships in French businesses to help alleviate the impact of the coronavirus crisis on employment.

Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud said state support for hiring apprentices under the age of 18 would be increased to 5,000 euros from 4,125 euros and for apprentices 18 and older to 8 000 euros from 5,125 euros. A ministry source said the cost of the program would be more than € 1 billion.

“Under this program, the cost of an apprentice will be practically zero in the first year for all recruitments between July 1 and February 28, 2021,” said Mr. Penicaud after a meeting with the unions.

Report by Caroline Pailliez and Michel Rose; Written by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Chris Reese

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