The Strategist

Lack of qualified personnel impedes economic development of France

02/14/2018 - 13:37

Bloomberg, referring to surveys of French companies and the situation in the labor market, concluded that French employers are sorely lacking experienced professionals. This happens despite the fact that the employment services have officially registered almost 3.5 million unemployed citizens.

Victor via flickr
Victor via flickr
Company Figeac-Aero, engaged in the supply of components for Airbus, faced similar difficulties. Patrice Parisot, the director of the plant in Auxerre, complains that he cannot find qualified personnel, although the management is going their best to attract new specialists. Advertising campaigns and projects created to improve professional skills have not produced the desired effect.

The French employment agency cites data that there are 3.5 million unemployed people living on social payments for 29 million able-bodied citizens. A paradoxical situation in 2017 arose when it was not possible to close more than 300 thousand vacancies precisely because of a shortage of qualified personnel.

French President Emmanuel Macron takes an active part in solving this problem. The authorities plan to allocate approximately 15 billion euro for the modernization of retraining programs and organization of relevant courses. The government has serious fears that if the situation does not change, then the country's economic development will be stalled.

The head of the Bank of France, Fran├žois Villeroy de Galhau, told the agency that "the French machine is not going fast enough", and called on the government to solve the problem. "We cannot remain a country with three million unemployed but with thousands of unoccupied jobs. This is a real paradox," he resents.

This trend is typical for most European countries. At the moment, there is a shortage of labor in the EU. This is especially noticeable in Poland, which was abandoned by approximately 2.3 million citizens. They went away to seek a better life in Western Europe, as well as in Britain and Germany, where even 1.6 million Poles and hundreds of thousands of other Eastern Europeans helped overcome the deterioration of demography and give these countries economic pulse. There is no doubt that Europe needs an influx of people. However, the stereotype that immigrants take more than they give (both in terms of employment and social support) brings more negativity to the life of the union. Of all Europeans, only Swedes and Estonians do not agree with this statement, but this has never been backed up by research.

Although Western European countries experience a shortage of skilled workers, newcomers face serious problems recognizing their qualifications. This is the second most important factor in the employment gap between immigrants and local residents: in 2016, 16.2% of migrants were unemployed compared to 7.8% of the local population.

The most significant factor is linguistic. Europe, unlike the United States, is a patchwork of languages. Some of them are difficult for migrants. The Romanians go to Spain and Italy, although these countries are not the most developed economically. It is just easier for them to learn a similar Romance language. In Germany, immigrants with a weak knowledge of the language earn an average of 30% less than the natives of the country. According to Bloomberg, fluency in the language reduces this gap to 18%.



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