French graduates look to build careers abroad

More and more French university graduates are looking beyond France to build a career, as they struggle to find work at home, a new survey revealed this week.

French graduates look to build careers abroad
File photo: Emilie Folleville

The percentage of French college graduates looking to venture abroad to start their careers has more than doubled in the last year, according to the Deloitte and Ifop survey.

The second annual 'young graduates mood barometer' found that 27% of French university leavers now envisage themselves having to leave the country to find a good job.

This is a sharp rise from last year's figure of 13%, according to the survey reported by French TV TF1.

Furthermore, the study showed on Monday that 58% of those who recently earned a college degree, saw their chances of finding work in France within six months as low.

Not that these recent entrants into the French job market aren't looking hard enough. On average, the survey found that after more than three months of searching, 38% hadn't been given a single interview.

Of those that had managed to find that elusive job, the average number of CVs they had sent out was 16.

The number of unemployed has risen steadily in France over the past 20 months, and could soon reach the high record high set in January 1997 of 3.2 million. Last year the rate broke the symbolic 10 percent barrier and at the end of last year it was at its highest rate in 15 years.

French President François Hollande has vowed to stop the jobless rate from rising by the end of 2013 and has declared this year "the great battle for jobs".

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France to make period products free for students

The French government said on Tuesday it would make period products free for students, joining a global drive to end "period poverty" - the inability to pay for menstrual protection.

France to make period products free for students
Last year, Scotland became the first country in the world to offer free universal access to period products. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP

Higher Education Minister Frederique Vidal said that machines containing free tampons, sanitary towels and other period products would be installed in student residences and university health services in the coming weeks.

She added that the government aimed to make period protection “completely free of charge” for all by the start of the next academic year in September.

In November, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for all, blazing a trail that inspired feminists and anti-poverty campaigners around the world to also take up the issue of period poverty.

In England, free period products are available in all primary and secondary schools – a move New Zealand said last week it too would implement.

In December, President Emmanuel Macron had promised to also address the issue of period poverty.

Commenting on the plight of homeless women, he noted that “the fact of having your period in the street and to not be able to buy something to protect yourself and preserve your dignity” added to the humiliation they suffered.

The move to make sanitary protection free for students comes amid a growing focus on youth poverty following shock images of food banks being swamped by hard-up students due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many students say they are struggling to make ends meet after losing part-time jobs in cafes and restaurants which have been closed for months due to the health crisis.