Hotels turns to migrant workers to fill jobs

Despite a lucrative summer season, thousands of vacancies in the hospitality industry threaten the sector’s stability, ahead of autumn

31 August 2018
By Claire McQue

An estimated 100,000 hospitality jobs in France remain unfilled, according to hoteliers' union, the UMIH
Last summer, the hospitality sector was ready to sign 50,000 permanent (CDI) and 50,000 seasonal (CDD) workers but was unable to find workers to fill these positions. The French unemployment centre Pôle emploi was also unable to source people to fill urgently needed roles.
Businesses in the hospitality industry were forced to use community website Le Bon Coin and word of mouth to find staff, a situation Roland Héguy, the union's president, described as “abnormal.”

Mr Héguy emphasised that the union wants to make sure they can welcome everybody with a right to work, regardless of their status as migrants or refugees. “We need people, as this sector will be massively developing.”
Currently, asylum seekers must wait nine months before they have the right to work but an imminent law will reduce this waiting time to six months.
To address the lack of manpower, UMIH wants to suggest a proposal to the government. Héguy plans to make changes that boost the image and value of jobs in this sector. While working in hospitality requires lots of training, it is perhaps an underrated profession, as Héguy added that many prominent chefs started out as apprentices.
Despite the recruitment problem, Mr Héguy told FranceInfo that the future for the hospitality industry in France is “altogether very postive.” Hotels across France have seen an 8% rise in business, buoyed by the Île-de-France and Paris region.

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