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Crackdown on jobs for foreigners

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09:38 CEST+02:00

France needs fewer immigrants to work in construction and IT, according to a new set of government proposals.

The recommendations follow a statement in April by the interior minister, Claude Guéant, that he wanted to "cut work-related immigration" by half. 

A report by business daily Les Echos on Monday said the types of jobs available to non-EU immigrants is to be reduced from 30 to 15.

The sectors most affected are construction and IT. Sectors still open are accounting and telesales. 

"This list is restricted to the most qualified and specific roles that correspond to particular employment needs," according to a letter to unions from the employment ministry. Different regions around the country will be able to cut the list down even further if they want to.

Unions have been given until August 8th to respond to the proposals.

The largest union, the CFDT with 800,000 members, told Les Echos they were "surprised" at the timing of the announcement, in the middle of the summer. Raymond Chauveau of the second largest union, the CGT, said the measure was mere "political window-dressing" that "wouldn't change much."

20,000 work permits were issued in 2010 and the government would like to cut this number in half.

The list will be reviewed again before August 2013.


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