An employee works on a skid steer loader manufactured by JC Bamford Excavators Ltd. (JCB) at the JCB France headquarters in Sarcelles, near Paris, France, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
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France, troubled for years by high unemployment, is now grappling with a lack of qualified workers. While it still has 3.5 million registered job seekers, a growing number of positions lie unfilled because companies can't find the right people. Companies' demand for workers is surging as the economy slowly picks up. Government employment agencies had received 274,000 unfilled job offers as of April, up 14 percent in a year and close to levels not seen since November 2011 .Recruitment group Manpower found in a recent survey that nearly one in four French employers was struggling to find workers.Eric Labaye, a senior partner at the McKinsey consultancy, said that while 90 percent of jobs require at least basic proficiency with digital technologies, 40 percent of the workforce did not have such elementary skills.Macron has said he wants to invest 15 billion euros ($17 billion) in building up skills for a million youths and another million low-qualified, long-term unemployed people.France already spends nearly 32 billion euros a year on professional training, equivalent to 1.5 percent of economic output, but only 15 percent goes to training job seekers, according to data from the Labor Ministry.
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