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“Work immigration can be extremely profitable for our economy”


LThe Darmanin bill, discussed this November 6 in the Senate, could be the thirtieth text on immigration adopted since 1980. A subject that could not be more divisive, which pushes the executive to seek a majority to vote for it.

Guillaume Richard is the head of the OuiCare group, a specialist in home services. Its French entities have 11,000 employees, 19% of whom are foreigners, mostly from Africa or Europe. According to him, labor immigration is desirable.

Point : Could the French economy operate without foreign workers?

William Richard: A few weeks ago, I was able to speak with a Danish manager working in the same sector of activity as mine. According to a study carried out in this country, by 2030 and beyond, if they want to continue supporting the elderly as they currently do, 24% of young Danes would need to turn to careers. of personal service. Which is impossible. In France, we do not have the same age pyramid as Denmark, in particular thanks to a higher birth rate, but we are already in a situation of shortage for a certain number of professions including that of care assistants.

How to get out of it?

We can always try to encourage vocations, make the profession more attractive or rely on more foreign workers. But unfortunately, labor immigration is a divisive topic. However, if we think from a strict economic point of view, it is desirable.

What do you mean ?

Beyond being necessary, it can prove extremely profitable for our economy. But for the game to be a winner, we must not export our most qualified people, and only import unskilled people. The flow must be positive. To do this, we must also welcome qualified foreign workers. In this case, we do not bear the costs of education and training and we immediately get trained people who produce wealth and who contribute. A moral question still arises, because this importation of labor is to the detriment of their country of origin. But we have the same phenomenon when our young graduates go abroad.

You have an IT subsidiary in Tunisia. What do you notice?

This country trains a lot of computer scientists, and very good ones, but it is emptying of its computer scientists who only dream of Europe. In our local subsidiary, we also have a very significant turnover linked to immigration; At the margin, we manage to integrate some of our Tunisian employees in France. But we are unable to retain the loyalty of French workers. The El Dorado for a Tunisian is France. El Dorado for a French person is the United States, Switzerland, or England. A game of teasing…

The lack of labor slows down the development of our businesses.

Of course. As the subject is very taboo in France, we have never really implemented, or even debated, a positive migration policy. We say: “we will attract qualified labor” and instead, we only take the wretched of the earth. But the least profitable thing for our country is to recover individuals who will live off society. But they have nothing to do with it.

What can you do to avoid this type of situation?

Our reception system is messy. A migrant does not have the right to work while his case is being processed, even if he is a political refugee. This lasts for months and months… Not having the right to work, he then lives on state aid. To improve the ordinary just a little bit, he is forced to work under the table or enter into parallel trafficking schemes. It’s absurd. We are thus depriving ourselves of the work capacity of a person living legally on our territory. We prevent her from working, we prevent her from contributing and we pay her not to work! Ideally, a temporary work permit should be issued while your file is studied, taught French or even integrated through activities.


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