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France — Mixed outlook for engineers

19 January 2010
The latest statistics on the labour market published by the Association for the Employment of Managers (APEC) paint a mixed picture of the latest developments in job opportunities for engineers, Le Figaro reports.

In November 2009, there were 8% more job offers for engineers when compared to November 2008. Job offers in manufacturing were up by 22% but job offers in research and development fell by -19%. Job offers in technical services were down by -9%.
The energy sector is still seen as a strong provider of employment. Catherine Dervaux, Director of middle management staffing firm Menway (Hominis Group), said "in 2010 employment will be stable. There might even be some growth."

However, some industry sectors are doing better than others. "We get an awful lot of applications from people who used to work in the car industry, which is in trouble. Some of those people can adapt to project management or quality management in other sectors but this can be difficult for people who have worked in the car industry for say ten years", Dervaux said further.

Madame Dervaux also explains that young engineering graduates are finding it difficult to enter the labour market in times of economic crisis. She said "every year 30,000 engineering graduates leave our specialised colleges. In 2008, that wasn't enough. Now it is too many."

Hugues Pariot, Managing Director of specialist staffing firm Expectra (part of Randstad), said "before the crisis 80% of young graduates found a job. This is down to 60% now."

Karine Leverger, General Manager at staffing firm Syntec Engineering, said "2010 will be very similar to 2009. The sectors which have suffered are still very fragile but there are still job opportunities in energy, the railway sector and large infrastructure projects."



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