Shortage of labor in France: Maghreb workers in their sights

While France claims to have toughened all the conditions for the different forms of immigration, especially against Maghreb countries, the country seems to have to abandon this policy to create a balance in the labor market. The government has just announced the possibility of implementing a residence permit called “jobs in tension” for workers in an irregular situation, present on French territory, knowing that the majority of them are migrants. North Africans that their government has repeatedly tried to postpone.

In an interview with the newspaper “Le Monde”, the French Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, as well as the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, declared that their government aims to create a residence permit “trades in tension in favor of irregular workers in order to maintain a certain “balance” and improve deportations to the border. They point out that this is a bill scheduled to be reviewed in early 2023.

France is currently experiencing a considerable labor shortage, particularly in areas contributing to the development of its economy such as agriculture, restaurants and hotels, construction, etc. Areas known for the recruitment of foreign workers, precisely the North African workers. On the other hand, the decision to tighten the restrictions on the granting of visas was ultimately not the strong point of the republic and only unbalanced the labor market and slowed down the progress of the sectors concerned.

Many French companies, which hire abroad, have shared and deplored the difficulties they encounter during recruitment despite the work permits they have been able to obtain for these North African workers. For the director of the Regional Tourism and Leisure Committee, Jean Pinard, the situation in his sector is increasingly difficult, he indicated that with the lack of staff, “some hotels and some restaurants have had to open in degraded mode , lack of personnel” adding that this has reduced the number and capacities of these entities on all sides.

On the other hand, owner of a restaurant in La Grande-Motte, Jacques Mestre testified previously: “We can’t find anyone, I close on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I’ve been doing this job for 50 years, I’ve never seen it, no one wants to work anymore… I offer salaries of 2,000 euros net and I can’t find it,” adding that another problem, plus visas, arose when he tried to recruit North African labor, “we have to find land and transport to house seasonal workers, otherwise it will be catastrophic. And if we make less revenue, it will also be less revenue for the State”.

However, the constant refusals of visas and the long procedures of the French consulates in the countries of origin prevent the progress of the construction sites and drown the republic in an inevitable crisis since the French avoid or refuse to practice this kind of trades.

According to data from the French Office for Immigration and Integration, 7,820 Moroccans migrated to France in 2019, of which around 6,000 represent seasonal workers and 1,529 economic migrants.

In addition, the Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, Younes Sekkouri, said a few weeks ago that this number has increased to 14,579 Moroccan workers present in France. He then announced the holding of a series of meetings with the National Federation of French Hotels and with the agricultural unions of three regions of the metropolis aimed at attracting Moroccan labor.

At the end of this unprecedented shortage, France is trying to deploy all the necessary resources to remedy the country’s economic downturn and is ready to look away from the migration issue and the restrictions imposed to meet the needs of the labor market. and avoid a slowdown in its major sectors.

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Shortage of labor in France: Maghreb workers in their sights

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