The official French government unemployment office, Pole Emploi, has finalized an emergency staffing plan that is due to go into effect after the summer holidays.
From fall 2009 through the end of 2011, the government will send 320,000 unemployed people to staffing agencies. An official meeting was held Tuesday, July 21, to select agencies from the 15 staffing firms that submitted proposals, the newspaper Les Echos reports.
The public tender was launched in March.
The project budget is estimated to cost €100 million ($142 million) for the remainder of 2009 and €200 million for the following two years. The contracts will be released to staffing agencies in two stages of 150,000 jobs initially and 170,000 jobs thereafter.
The government has been experimenting with the use of private employment agencies to a limited degree since 2005. In 2007 and 2008, the government placed only 46,000 unemployed people with private agencies.
French unions have adopted a grin-and-bear-it attitude.
Alain Lecanu of French union CGC said on the subject: “You have to be pragmatic. It is a priority to help all the unemployed, and Pole Emploi is currently not able to do that all by itself.”
France’s contingent staffing industry is also trying to promote employment of the disabled.
Crit Interim, the largest independent temporary employment agency network in France, has joined forces with the French Association for the Insertion of People With Disabilities Into the Labor Market (AGEFIPH) to organize information forums at a number of their clients’ premises, the newspaper LaDepeche reports.
Under French law, companies with more than 20 employees are required to have a 6 percent quota of employees with disabilities. This quota is rarely achieved, which means that most companies need to pay a fine to AGEFIPH for not complying.
Cecile Marty, Crit interim manager in charge, explains that “Crit Interim wants to address the concerns our clients have.”
“We are there to advise them. In partnership for several years with AGEFIPH we want to open doors and remind employers of their obligations concerning the employment of people with disabilities,” Marty said.
Marty stressed the positive consequences the legal obligation can have on companies.
“You realize that this humanizes the company and gives an image of acceptance amongst the other employees.” he said. “It also helps to create a general change in attitude, which is not a negligible aspect.”