Impossible to find a job?

My partner has a degree from Ireland in French and English and cannot find a job in southern IDF region (Massy, Antony, etc). Does this happen to anyone else? Even just teaching English at high school seems impossible, despite French people all telling me that these places are desperate to hire.

Has your partner got a TEFL certificate? I seem to recall reading somewhere that that was needed as well as a degree.

Or equivalent specific teaching qualifications in their chosen subject? We all know how the French like paperwork!

hHave they had any feedback from the places they’ve applied to as to why they were rejected?

All the information you need is likely to be on the rectorat website.

Using words such as bonjour, s’il vous plaît, merci, could make contact more positive with French people, especially fonctionnaires.


Does he have any teaching qualifications? That could be a sticking point.

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Isn’t this sort of thing normal in France? I remember my son saying that his teaching qualifications were not accepted in France, and one of Fran’s aides, Gill, the Scotswoman, cannot work as a nurse despite British nursing experience over many years and qualifications including a degree.

I count myself lucky as I believe my own as an HGV driver would not be valid now but when I came here 24 years ago I walked straight into a job without any problems, Just had to do a direct swap of my licences.

You don’t say what kind of degree level - Bachelor’s, Master’s ?
Having a Bachelor’s degree is likely to be insufficient to get a teaching job in any kind of higher level teaching institution, as the minimum requirement these days tends to be at least a Master’s degree. You might try the local chambers of commerce, or private language schools, as they might be somewhat less choosy, but often they will also require a TEFL diploma or equivalent.
Don’t jus take our word for it:
Enseigner l’anglais en France sans le CAPES – Tefl Toulouse.
Certifications et formations pour enseigner l'anglais | Cambridge English

Master’s degree is required to validate the CAPES within two years of getting it. My son works for the Education Nationale as a principal prof d’anglais in a big city collège and had to obtain Masters to be offered a post and he had to pay a few thousand euros to do it as well due to his age. He has his inspection coming up in April to elevate him to the next level so you have to be confident in both languages and show a result in teaching.

I wasn’t specifically talking about the CAPES as that relates to the French school teaching system (enseignement secondaire - collège, lycée), and having a master’s degree in order to be able to sit the CAPES in the first place was a requirement for as long as I can remember. My ex-wife, a teacher in the French school system for over 30 years, sat both the CAPES and the Agrégation, and she went through the whole rigmarole of qualifying with what seemed to me at the time to be an inordinately excessive requirement of literary study just to be able to teach children to say even the simplest of things in English. In those days, the focus was not so much on the ability to teach, but what you knew about some of the most obscure aspects of the English language, even if none of your recipients would ever have the foggiest idea of what you would be spouting on about.
My comment in relation to having a Master’s degree relates to actual experience (my own and my current spouse) of higher education institutions, such as universities, business schools, and other similar organisations which, on paper at least, state that they require their teaching staff to have at least a Master’s degree or equivalent (Bac+5/6, depending on whether they will accept just a M1 or require a M2), and advantageously, a DELF/TESOL/CELTA teaching diploma or the like.
If you are applying for a job in one of these kind of organisations, then inevitably, you can improve your chances of being taken on if you have any of these compared to someone who doesn’t, and some actual teaching experience, whether in languages or another subject.

The contracts the private institutions offer are rarely permanent, often just seasonal, and even then, there is a general push to make you work as an independent, so that they don’t have to pay your social contributions, or be worried about being sued by a long time teacher for “requalification de contrat de travail saisonnier en CDI”. Given the amount these institutions charge per year to their students (parents), it is quite sickening how the teachers they employ are treated.


This also might be of use:

EDIT: I forgot to mention that your partner might be able to find something by seeking out their local GRETA, although I’m not sure what the minimum requirement is these days for getting hired due to the recent-ish reform in French continuous professional development.

Yes, she has the TEFL certificate; she’s actually worked in France before already as a teaching assistant for an English course in Normandie. Places that have rejected her say things like “we went with another candidate whose profile better matched what we’re looking for” which isn’t exactly actionable advice.

Her degree is just a Bachelor’s which indeed makes it hard for her to get an English teaching job at the university where I am a professor.

Has she contacted the rectorat asking about being a vacataire? That is how you get a job in the EN if you aren’t a professeur fonctionnaire de catégorie A, you don’t approach schools themselves. Obviously it is different for non EN jobs. The other thing is what is the degree in, French and English lit? Only the English bit will be seen as of use here since we wouldn’t want a foreigner who hasn’t been through the CAPES teaching French to French children (sorry but that is how it is).

How about private English language teaching companies, such as Wall Street English?