What jobs are on offer in south west France?

Unemployment in France is falling, with the economy growing and thousands of new jobs being created, but what is on offer varies dramatically from place to place.

What jobs are on offer in south west France?
Toulouse-based Airbus will be recruiting. Photo: AFP

Several areas of France have cornered the market in particular employment fields, so if you're looking for work in France you need to know what is out there.

READ ALSO Why 2020 is set to be a good year for job hunters in France

Here we look at the type of jobs likely to be available in the south west of France – the areas covered by the Occitanie and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions.

The data comes from the French unemployment office Pôle emploi, combined with local chambers of commerce, unions, local authorities and companies, as well as the recruitment agency Adecco and was put together in a major data journalism exercise by French newspaper Le Parisien.

Here are the overall projections for 2020.

Nouvelle Aquitaine

1. Healthcare. The CHU hospital in Bordeaux is expected to recruit hundreds of positions in both medical and non medical roles throughout 2020. The highly regarded hospital is particularly looking for nurses, physiotherapists and psychiatrists.

2. Information technology. Consultants, developers and software engineers will be needed – the Canadian firm CGI has a major presence in the region and says it has full order books for 2020, necessitating new staff.


CGI's Canadian boss Serge Godin. Photo: AFP

3. Retail. Lidl is making a major expansion in France and opening many new stores across the country, so it is expected that they will be recruiting heavily in 2020, both for construction workers to build new stores and sales staff to operate them. Lidl also has a logistics warehouse in the Bordeaux suburb of Cestas which is a big employer.

4.Retail. The cut-price retailer C Discount is also recruiting heavily in the south west and it too has a large logistics depot in Cestas.

5. Public transport. The Bordeaux public transport operator Keolis is looking for bus drivers as the city's bus network expands further out into the suburbs and surrounding towns.


1. Aeronautical. Airbus, based in Toulouse, is a major employer in the region and has a very multi-national staff. They are set to recruit up to 2,000 staff over the course of 2020 – on both permanent and temporary contracts – and need technicians, engineers and factory workers. The company has already announced plans for a new assembly line.

2. Technology – the French technology and engineering consulting firm Alten is another major employer that is set to recruit up to 800 engineers and project managers in 2020. They are particularly looking for people for their telecoms, energy and rail sectors and are advertising positions on salaries of between €30,000 and €50,000 a year.

3. Energy. The green energy firm Spie France, which designs and builds energy-saving installations, is set to expand and will be recruiting both at its headquarters in Toulouse and in Albi and Pont-Sainte-Esprit. They need technicians and engineers.

4. Catering – Burger King is set to open about 60 new outlets in France in 2020, around a dozen of them in the Occitanie region, so will be looking for staff.

5. Retail – Lidl is also recruiting in Occitanie and says it will need about 350 new staff in 2020.

As is the case across France, recruitment tends to be concentrated on the big cities, particularly Toulouse and Bordeaux – which is making a concerted effort to draw companies and employees away from Paris.

However there are smaller towns in the region that are also recruiting, particularly Angoulême in Charente, which is positioning itself as a centre of excellence for the digital industry and Nîmes which has a large university hospital.

READ ALSO How to write the perfect CV for getting a job in France



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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.