Even though the latest unemployment figures for France show more people looking for a job than at any other time in the past, employers are complaining that they cannot find workers.
The government’s employment agency says nearly half of all French companies are unable to recruit the people they need.
Maël Bernier, the spokeswoman for consumer credit and mortgage company Empruntis, told euronews: “I think with 3.2 million unemployed, they’re not all saying ‘this job isn’t for me’ so it’s possible there is a mismatch between job-seekers’ qualifications and what companies are looking for. We don’t understand it, as well as looking for people who’ve been to university, we want people with trade diplomas, even young people without experience, so we should get many applicants, we don’t understand it.”
The skills mismatch affects engineering firms particularly, but also home nursing, hospital nurses, cleaning and catering jobs, the textile industry and the building trade.
Recruitment firms complain the problem is getting worse, and they urge a change in the education system, focusing more on apprenticeships – as Germany does – and training people for manual work rather than intellectual jobs.
Our Paris correspondent Giovanni Magi concludes: “These are the two faces of France today: record unemployment on the one hand and jobs that remain empty on the other. A paradox that is weighing on the prospects for economic recovery.”