The largest farmers’ union has backed plans to create a specific residency permit for workers in industries suffering from labour shortages.
Jérôme Volle, president of the FNSEA’s jobs committee, said: “We think it is a good idea to simplify the paperwork, while still controlling immigration.”
If the permits are approved as part of the immigration bill, they will be aimed at immigrants who are already working illegally in industries that are struggling to fill positions.
These include construction, restaurants, and potentially agriculture. There are 80,000 to 100,000 shortages in the farming industry, mostly seasonal workers, according to Mr Volle.
“We would like the titres de séjour to be linked to an employer, to avoid cards being given to a person who then leaves the company,” he said, adding the policy would be one potential solution to shortages, in addition to strategies such as encouraging apprenticeships.
He said the industry had always relied on foreign labour.
A revised list of around 30 sectors with shortages, differing by region, is due to be published in the new year following industry consultations.