“Alternation: youth and employment during COVID-19”, interview with Yves HINNEKINT

Alternation, a choice of training undermined by the crisis of COVID-19. There were 491,000 apprentices in the territory, an increase of 16% compared to 2018. However, this year, following the impact of COVID-19, it seems more difficult for young people to find the company in which they will be able to flourish. Thus, to encourage companies to use alternates, the government and various actors like WALT are putting in place major measures.

How can we put young alternates ahead in the face of the COVID-19 crisis?

Indeed, this year it has been difficult for young people to find a company to carry out their training on an alternating basis. Indeed, following the COVID-19 epidemic, which has significantly weakened the economy and businesses, offers have been rarer. The containment and generalization of telework has made employment more complicated for alternates, who also need training in business. In short, the contracts established during the first containment had to be maintained. But it wasn’t necessarily easy for everyone. Indeed, for new young people who have not yet alternated, they have mainly felt helpless.

Alternate training is supported by assistance to facilitate the entry of young people into professional life during COVID-19

For the first part of the containment, the capacity of alternates had to be kept in place to switch to distance. It went pretty well, even if it wasn’t easy. During this crisis there was very little mention of young people…


Aware of the difficulty of the situation for young people who are at a mass grave in their lives, the government has taken action. Their main objective is to facilitate the integration of young people into working life with employment assistance. Thus, there are two major measures in favour of the latter. The first is the introduction of an incentive premium of 5,000 euros for the recruitment of an alternate (in apprenticeship or professionalization contract) under the age of 18 and 8,000 euros if the latter is over 18 years of age. The second measure is the extension of the time to find a business.

With this bonus, companies take a measured risk to hire young people.


Thus, the period of reception in CFA without an apprenticeship contract is increased from 3 to 6 months after the start of the training cycle. It concerns young people who entered training between 1 August and 31 December 2020. For example, in November, there was a slight increase over 2019. Therefore, this is a positive signal that companies want to invest in a dynamic and promising young generation.

What tools can be offered to facilitate alternating searches during this period?

As a result, actors such as WALT are mobilizing to strengthen these measures taken by the government. Indeed Walt helps and accompanies young people in their research with his free platform. During this period, which was particularly anxious for the latter, it proposed the promotion of alternation. It refers up to 30,000 high-time job openings and more than 22,000 training courses. In 2019, there were 45,000 apprentices registered in New Aquitaine.

Walt, it’s about 150,000 young people, we represent about 25 to 30% of the apprenticeship in France.


For the alternate looking for a contract, Walt offers a space to facilitate his steps and optimize his application. He can create his profile, publish his CV and view the offers online. It can also be used by companies and provide practical information. In order to be guided in his efforts, he can also call for service at the Chatbot. The latter will inform him and accompany him in his choices of orientation. For companies, they have their own space to publish their offers. Also guided, they have access to online training (Waltcome aboard). It helps them integrate their alternles for free. Thus, the future tutors are accompanied in order to be able to welcome their future alternates in this period marked by doubts.

Previously alternation could be qualified as a default voice. Today, attitudes are changing and the psychological barriers of companies are fading. Indeed, more and more companies are moving to take young alternatives to their teams. They realized that by integrating young people, they can benefit from many benefits. With this long-term investment, they can train in the corporate culture. They can also retain a new and dynamic generation. It is also an opportunity to relaunch their business. While one wonders how the resumption of alternation in 2021 will be without the incentive premium, we are already seeing new trends emerging. The professions of sustainable development or even organic are highlighted. In search of meaning, young people seem to be the hope to reinvent the professions of tomorrow.


Interview with Yves HINNEKINT, Monday 16 November 2020

(1)“Young Alternates: Helping Employers for Your Hiring,”Article of August 28, 2020, Public Service, Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister),

(2)“Press Alert: Focus on the employment of alternating youth during the reconfination”,WALT, Press release of 10 November 2020,

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