France to Fix Annual Limits for Professional Immigration

Seems a bit too government driven to succeed and respond to market needs in a timely fashion, in contrast to greater role for employers in Canada and Australia (and provinces in the case of Canada):

France plans to set annual quotas for professional immigration, fixing limits for job areas where the country lacks workers with the necessary expertise, Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud said in an interview on BFM TV.

The system will be “a new approach, a little like the approach that Canada and Australia use, it’s quite similar,” Penicaud said. The goal is to better match professional migrants and unmet staffing needs than under the current system, according to the minister.

The government will start talks with social partners and regions in coming weeks to determine the requirements, the minister said. France will draw up a list of job areas where it lacks sufficiently trained workers, and will offer work visas for a defined period and job. The new system should be in place by summer of next year, Penicaud said.

The number of professional migrants to France currently stands at 33,000 a year, and Penicaud doesn’t expect “great changes” to that number because of the new rules. “France will recruit according to its needs,” Penicaud said.

Penicaud mentioned roofers and geometricians as examples of where France lacks trained staff. The government’s priority remains to train 900,000 job seekers next year as well as young people to fulfill all available jobs, she said.

The minister said the decline in French unemployment is encouraging, and should economic conditions not change “too much,” it’s reasonable to expect the drop to continue through to the end of the year.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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