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Observation training period in 3ème

What is it about?

During the 4th year of high school (classe de 3ème) the students are required to carry out an observation training period in order to discover the working world as well as various business lines. This training period is compulsory for all 4th year students and can take place in business companies, charities, public establishments or territorial communities under the conditions required by labour legislation.

Its objective is to “develop the students’ awareness of the technological, economical and professional surroundings, within the context of school counselling and in relation with the school curriculum”. It is a major asset to help the students have a clearer view of the career they wish to embark upon.

Lycée Chateaubriand offers a program to help the students through the different steps they must perform : from firm-hunting in October to an actual training period in March, while the student acquires  a methodology consisting in :

  1. Discovering a field of activity

  2. Discovering professional surroundings

  3. Preparing for a job interview (motivation letter, presentation, asking for an appointment…)

  4. Learning how to manage in case of failure

Who’s concerned?

Students aged 14 and over are allowed to carry out observation training periods in business companies, charities, government services, public establishments, or territorial communities according to  article L. 4153-1.of the Labor Code.

Students less than 14 are authorized, according to article L. 4153-5 of the Labour Code to carry out observation training periods in « [...] establishments where only family members under the authority of their father, mother or guardian are employed [...] ».

Reference texts:

French texts

Labour legislation

  • Article L. 4153-1
    It is forbidden to employ less than sixteen year old workers unless they are :

    • 1°Minors aged 15 or over with an apprenticeship contract as required by article  L. 6222-1

    • 2° General education students on educational visits organized by their teachers or on observation training periods during the last two years of their compulsory schooling, as mentioned in article L. 332-3- of the Education Code under the conditions required by decree ;

    • 3° Students attending an alternate teaching program or a vocational course during the last two years of their compulsory schooling, when they accomplish an initiation, application or formative training period in a professional environment, as required by decree

  • Article L. 4153-5
    The arrangements described in articles L. 4153-1 to L. 4153-3 are not applicable in establishments where only  family members under the authority of the father, the mother or the guardian are employed, unless they are occasional or short term jobs devoid of risk for their health or their security.
    A  list of such jobs is established by decree.

Italian texts

The "Observation training period" is an guidance activity and a first approach to the labour market. It occurs in a professional environment without any performance of work/activity, but only with the idea of observing a context, in a guidance-oriented perspective. This is an experience in line with MIUR national indications for permanent career guidance of February, 19th, 2014, independent from school/work rotation experience described in the legislative decree 15/04/2005.


Career and guidance