France’s ‘Generation COVID’ faces bleak future with jobs scarce

first_img“When I saw the coronavirus numbers and the borders closed, I wondered ‘will a hotel need me next year?’.”France was already one of the worst places in Europe to be a young job-seeker because of a rigid labor market and resulting shortage of long-term contracts. When the coronavirus hit, finding employment, even as an apprentice, became tougher.Fillon is not alone. Some 800,000 youngsters in France will enter the labor market this summer, just as the euro zone’s second largest economy is forecast to shrink by 11 percent.France has struggled to provide enough long-term jobs for its young. The youth unemployment rate sat above 20% in the fourth quarter of 2019, the fourth highest in Europe behind Greece, Spain, and Italy, according to the OECD. Topics : Onerous labor laws mean businesses typically prefer to give youngsters short-term contracts that offer scant job security.But President Emmanuel Macron has pushed through reforms to liberalize France’s highly regulated job market and incentivize the hiring of apprentices.Unemployment was falling before the crisis – even if it was still roughly double the rate in Britain and Germany – and long-term contracts were on the rise. So too apprenticeships, up 17% year-on-year in 2019.”This crisis has shown the fragility (of the reform gains),” said Mathieu Plane, an economist at the publicly funded French Economic Observatory (OFCE).”Worst possible time”In France, young employees and job-seekers are suffering a double hit, Plane said. They were typically the first to be jettisoned by companies in times of recession and have an outsized presence in the ailing tourism and hospitality sectors.The government might have to think about state-subsidized jobs for 15 to 24-year-olds if hiring in the private sector remained low for several years, he added.Armelle Bahrouni, 23, quit her Paris bar job in February, a month before France went into lockdown, because she wanted to find a hospitality role with a view to one day running a bar.Four months later, bars and restaurants in Paris can only offer outdoor seating. Many remain closed and Bahrouni is out of work.”The longest time I’ve done nothing with my life before this was two months. And even then I did temping jobs,” Bahrouni said.Macron’s government will in the days ahead hold talks with trade unions and employer groups over how to create jobs for youngsters during the depression.The need is pressing. The labor ministry anticipates that as many as 320,000 young people will join queues at job-seeker centers. Youth unemployment may hit 30%, it forecasts.”I entered the job market at the worst possible time,” said 23-year-old Louis Lhomme, who this summer received a master’s in urban planning from Paris’ Sciences Po, which for more than a century has been educating France’s decision-makers.Lhomme said he had opted for enrolling in a second master’s degree rather than settling for an imperfect job – an option few can afford.”That will shield me from the worst of the crisis.”center_img In September, Eugenie Fillon should begin a two-year master’s degree in luxury hotel management that combines academic studies with a salaried apprenticeship. The problem: during the worst economic downturn in decades, hotels in France aren’t hiring.If the 22-year-old fails to secure a placement, not only will she be deprived of a starting income and on-the-job experience. She will also be on the hook for fees worth 18,000 euros.”Normally there are job offers out there. But there have barely been any since the crisis struck,” Fillon said, as she scoured online job ads on a park bench in Nantes, in the west of the country.last_img read more

Arsene Wenger convinced by Arsenal’s ability to last title pace

first_img “He is not a talking leader, he is a fighting leader, and I think he is a typical centre-back for the Premier League.” Wenger has challenged his team to better what was a “perfect week” after the Champions League victory over Bayern Munich. He said: “I think the attitude at the top level is how can we improve,” he said. “We learn from defeat and we learn from wins – but to learn from wins sometimes is more difficult because it is less natural.” Press Association Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is convinced his side now have the required battling qualities to last the distance in the Barclays Premier League title race. Wenger feels the way players like Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil followed in line with midfield enforcer Francis Coquelin and centre-half Gabriel show this group have the stomach for the challenges ahead. “They are all on board, and they have the belief. They came off the pitch really tired,” said Wenger. “Cazorla won many balls and blocked many tackles, even Ozil…. once you have that in the team, it is not easy to get it, but is shows the belief is there and then you need enough humility to keep it in there.” The Arsenal boss added: “You need to convince the players that you have to work hard to win football games in the Premier and that you need all 11 to do that.” Gabriel produced a composed display at the heart of the Gunners’ rearguard, standing in for vice-captain Per Mertesacker, who was ill. The Brazilian – sent off at Chelsea last month for clashing with Diego Costa – produced a superb late block to thwart a dangerous Everton counter-attack, before letting out a loud roar cheered on by the home supporters. “Gabriel has shown that he is a fighter,” said Wenger. “At half-time he was so upset at the deflection he got, but in the second half he came out again with the same spirit, it is a fantastic combative aspect. The Gunners had to dig deep to hold off the challenge of Everton and close out a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. With Manchester City drawing against derby rivals United at Old Trafford on Sunday, Arsenal are second on the back of what was a fourth straight Premier League victory. last_img read more