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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Canada features at job fair for France's unemployed professionals

It goes without saying that unemployment is one of the major issues currently facing the French government.

The country's president, François Hollande, made tackling the problem one of his priorities, making endless promises during his first year in office that the upward trend would be reversed by the end of 2013.

It wasn't.

In January 2014, he admitted having failed, changed tack and maintained that his Pacte de Responsabilité (Responsibility Pact - agreed with trade unions and employers' organisations and which would give business increased tax breaks) would "put the French economy back on the rails".

The assumption being that a drop in the unemployment rate would be one of the results.

He went even further later in the year, when he started talking about not seeking re-election in 2017 if the effects of his economic policies didn't kick in and he failed to cut unemployment.

Well, the jobless rate is still on the rise.

The most recent seasonally adjusted figures for Q3 2014 released by the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, INSEE) had risen to 10.4 per cent.

Without blinding you with an endless stream of figures and percentages (you can find plenty of reports on the stats by doing a simple Internet search) the bottom line is that France is still in deep economic doggy doo (now isn't that a profound analysis) .

Help is at hand though - at least for young professionals who are having problems finding the job to suit their qualifications or those who are looking to change their career, retrain or start their own businesses.

It comes in the form of the Salon du travail et de la mobilité professionnelle - a job fair organised by the weekly news magazine L'Express and with the official backing of the ministry of employment.

It's being held at the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris on January 23 and 24, bringing together 150 exhibitors, workshops and consultants with those looking for jobs.

Among the advice given on how best to present yourself and your cv, and in spite of the special section for the handicapped, the whole shebang seems to be put a weird perspective by two factors.

Firstly, one of the posters promoting the fair suggests "mobility" - trying another region within France.

Fair enough. It might smack somewhat of the advice given back in the 1980s to Britain's unemployed by the former conservative employment (among other positions) minister Norman Tebbit to "get on their bikes".

Or go where the work is. But it's probably healthy to remind visitors and jobseekers that France doesn't begin and end in Paris.

Secondly there's  the "country of honour"  - Canada - and the poster declaring the low unemployment rate the other side of the Atlantic in Quebec.

(screenshot Salon du travail et de la mobilité professionnelle poster)

Does that mean the French government has in a roundabout way, (because it's supporting the fair) come up with a new strategy to reduce unemployment in France by encouraging people  to look anywhere - even abroad - for opportunities?

Any ideas François Rebsamen (the minister of employment)?

1 comment:

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