Hi Andy, I think you may be thinking of the "contrat aidée" which are effectively back to work schemes where you work for 24hrs per week, to help you get into the swing of working again, and alongside this you are given assistance to develope your own personel project to either gain addtional skills to become more employable or to get a full time job. They help you get on the course for example that you need to complete or encopurage you to "try out" various jobs. You are paid whilst this is going on and if you start elsewhere and find it doesn't suit you can return to the scheme within a period of 2 months. The contracts are usually for 4 months up to 1 year, renewable for a maximum depending on your circumstances and the places available. My husband is currently on one of these locally and is working in an organic market garden / activity center and is loving it. Ask at the pole emploi for details, and be prepared with an idea of what you would like to do in the long term.