France is desperately trying to sort out the problem of worker shortages in a number of varied fields, so much so that it’s just announced that it will introduce economic migrant quotas in an attempt to fill these empty positions.
Starting next year, authorities working with employers will identify industries lacking qualified candidates and facilitate the hiring of foreigners to fill the gap, Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud said.
“This is about France hiring based on its needs. It's a new approach, similar to what is done in Canada or Australia,” Penicaud told BFM television.
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France's labour minister Muriel Penicaud. Photo: AFP
Currently employers have to justify why a French citizen cannot be hired in a complex administrative process, which resulted in around 33,000 economic migrants being granted visas last year.
Construction, hotels and restaurants, and some retailing sectors have long complained of a shortage of people willing to take what is often low-paying work.
Information technology and engineering industries, by contrast, say France does not produce enough qualified candidates.
Penicaud did not say how many foreign workers would be granted visas, nor if an applicant's nationality would be taken into account, a proposal aired by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe last month.
According to a survey by France’s unemployment agency Pôle Emploi, 44.4 percent of recruitments were considered challenging by companies France in 2018, compared to 37.5 percent in 2017.The professions that employers have the most trouble finding suitable candidates for are in the secondary sector (industry) as well as some other positions in the service sector.
So what are the most in demand positions of all that the French government wants to make sure it fills in 2020?
- Electrical and electronic draftsmen (Dessinateurs en electricité et en électronique)
- Qualified heat and surface treatment technicians (Agents qualifies de traitement thermique et de surface)
- Vehicle mechanics and electricians (Mecaniciens et electroniciens de véhicules)
- Domestic workers and cleaners (Aides à domicile et aides ménagères)
- Vets (Vétérinaires)
- Carpenters (Charpentiers)
- Roofers (Couvreurs)
- Regulators (Régleurs)
- Surveyors (Géomètres)
- Panel beaters (Carrossiers automobiles)