French Restaurants Request Undocumented Migrants to Fill 130,000 Vacant Jobs

Undocumented Migrants

If anyone is looking for work in France, the restaurants and hotels have an over-abundance of jobs available - an exorbitant amount. In fact, they are in desperate need of finding people to fill these positions. Thousands of jobs are going unfilled while thousands of people in the country are willing to do this kind of work.

Even though the nation's unemployment rate is high at 9 percent, French restaurants and hotels continue to have a struggle on their hands in trying to find people who are willing to fill them.

It seems that the citizens and residents of France have become reluctant to take on jobs in this sector due to long hours working at sometimes boring and often repetitive tasks. It seems to have become some kind of indictment against those who are "not very good at school" that they will end up working in an unglamorous job in a restaurant or hotel.

There could be a quick and easy solution to this problem. France has a very large number of undocumented migrants in the country, estimated at about 300,000 people. That is around 0.5 percent of the population, said the Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb.

The laws regarding undocumented migrants only allow those who have been granted refugee status to apply for a work permit. Those who are waiting for their refugee status to be confirmed are eligible to work. The catch is that they must wait nine months after they have made application for work papers before they can be employed.

Refugees are only able to apply for work in areas that are greatly lacking in their workforce. French hotels and restaurants certainly meet this criteria as there are 130,000 jobs that need to be filled.

Now the industry has issued a strong appeal to the government imploring it to issue work permits to illegal migrants. In this situation, which has become a hardship and an emergency, they are asking that the refugees' right to work be expedited.

The need is great. The undocumented migrants came to France to find work. Why not let them do these jobs that have been waiting for people to come along and fulfill them? The migrants are an available and willing workforce. Under these circumstances, perhaps that 9-month waiting period should be waived.

Unions representing the restaurant and hotel industry approached the French government last month. They are seeking help so they can recruit large numbers of undocumented workers. Owners of these establishments are waiting for the government's reply. They will 'provide training and the work', said Didier Chenet, president of the GNI restaurant and hotel union.

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