“The customers are there but we lack manpower. Everywhere the same lament. While the hotel and catering professions are among those most in tension, the ministers of labor, Olivier Dussopt and his tourism counterpart, Olivia Grégoire, detailed, this Tuesday, May 30, during a press point the first measures to facilitate the recruitment of seasonal workers.
“In 2022 already of the 150,000 seasonal positions needed, only half have been filled”recall the cabinets of the two ministries to justify this plan, adding that “their recruitment had then dropped by 30%”. “Last year, 59% of hotels and restaurants had to curb their activity during the summer due to a lack of seasonal workers”underlines Vincent Sitz, president of the employment training commission of the Groupement des hôtelleries et restauration de France. For 2023, he figures at 30,000, or even 40,000, the number of additional jobs to be filled compared to last year.
Grant of 10 million euros to companies
In response, the government is relying on an evolving three-year plan covering training, support and housing assistance for these seasonal workers. On the first part, the objective is to promote, within the framework of Pôle Emploi, short training courses – 35 to 150 hours – for example on basic knowledge in catering, with a view to widening the pool of people to recruit. An increase in the training budget is planned through an additional subsidy of 10 million euros to companies (as part of the FNE-Training plan) to meet the most critical needs.
Pôle emploi will also be called upon alongside employers to support seasonal workers once their season is over in order to systematically direct them towards training and jobs. “More than half of seasonal workers do not work in the off-season and live on unemployment insurance or nothing”we add within the ministries, which plan to carry out the experiment on about fifteen sites in seven regions of the French coast.
In a context of rising rents, housing remains one of the most central issues in attracting seasonal workers. To overcome these difficulties, the government therefore plans to launch a digital platform in June aimed at bringing together all the rental offers available in public, association and social car parks. It will also mobilize, as of this summer, 2,000 university and boarding school accommodation. A relatively low figure, as conceded by the entourage of ministers, due to the reluctance of certain directors of establishments to rent these accommodations for lack of available staff in the summer. “The idea is to go with those who agree and see if, in the long term, we can go beyond 6,000 housing units, which in our opinion will constitute the potential by 2025”we retort within the ministerial cabinets.
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