Remote French island seeks candidates for key project (*Must be a fan of cows)

If you're looking for a break from the rat race in the big city, this remote Breton island of 800 inhabitants offers just that... and a new job.

Remote French island seeks candidates for key project (*Must be a fan of cows)
Photos: Wikimedia

* For language learners: we've highlighted some useful vocabulary in this news story. You'll find the French translations at the bottom of the article.

Our guess is that if you clicked on this story, there’s something about this out-of-the-blue job proposition that strikes a chord with you, even if you haven’t worked with cows ever in your life. 

The small island of Ushant (also spelt Ouessant in French), off the coast of Brittany’s Finistere department in the English Channel, is seeking a new organic dairy farmer.

The job advert was posted on the island’s town hall website and although one might assume the requirements aren’t that complicated (milk cows, right?), there’s a lot more to the role than meets the eye.

It’s been dubbed an “agricultural project” by Ushant authorities, a venture in which the successful candidate will have to teach many of the island’s farming residents how to produce organic dairy products whilst also ensuring the island’s farmland and natural spaces are properly managed and protected.

All this will have to presented as a sales pitch to the town hall board.

So in a nutshell, they’re looking for someone to almost single-handedly develop a new industry on an island with a drastically ageing population and with only one significant community: the village of Lampaul.

Logically Ushant town hall are not just looking for any old person for this complex role, with the main points of the selection criteria being that the candidate should have an education and background in agricultural science or similar, as well as experience in management, sales and environmental planning.

So it’s clear that the job isn’t meant for complete beginners in the dairy farm business, but for those who have studied an agriculture science degree and are looking to get their foot in the door, this could be a great opportunity and one for the CV.

In return you’ll get to live on a picturesque and tranquil island where everyone will probably know your name after a week.

If you’re still interested or know someone who might be, here’s the application process. Remember that the deadline for submissions on May 21, 2019.

French vocab to learn

postuler à un poste: apply for a job 

une offre/annonce d'emploi: job advert

l'élevage: farming, livestock farming

la gestion: management 

vieillissant: ageing 

une entreprise hasardeuse: venture

un argumentaire: sales pitch


We're aiming to help our readers improve their French by translating relevant vocabulary from our news stories of the day. Did you find articles like these useful? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know.

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For members


How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.