Unable to find French candidates to fill a huge number of low-paid jobs, hotels and restaurants in France are now looking at undocumented immigrants to take up more than 100,000 jobs in the industry.
As many as 130,000 jobs are available in the hotel and restaurant sector, with the industry struggling to recruit workers, according to French publication le Parisien.
Hotels and restaurants owners in France are urging the government to regularize more illegal migrants, so that they can take up these jobs and the hospitality sector can find the desired workforce for the vacant posts, AFP reported.
“We’re facing a huge shortage in our sector. Companies are finding no one, which is why we want to facilitate the integration of refugees in our businesses,” the news agency quoted Roland Heguy, the president of the hotel industry body UMIH, as saying.
Unemployment rate in France is currently hovering at around 9 percent, and yet the major industry is facing lack of workforce. The vacant posts are primarily related to manual jobs involving long work hours and low wages, resulting in the limited attraction they hold for aspiring employees.
The industry is now looking at filling the gap through illegal immigrants who are more willing to take up such tedious jobs.
Besides lobbying for getting work permits for undocumented immigrants, hotels have also suggested that they would train them to make them suitably skilled for the business.
“Restaurants and hotel owners are in the starting blocks. We are now waiting for the government to give these people their work permits. We will provide the training and the work,” Didier Chenet, the president of the GNI restaurant and hotel union, told le Parisien.
Hotel industry representatives held a meeting with the French government last month, in which they called for measures to make hiring of immigrants easier.
As per the French law, refugees can start working in the country after they get their documents. Asylum-seekers, on the other hand, have to wait for a period of nine months after they have filed the claim for refugee status before they can start a job.
CGT, France’s biggest trade union, has supported the idea of regularizing undocumented workers, according to AFP. It, however, also stressed upon the need to make low-paid jobs more attractive.