The French government says that the jobless should take to the fields to help the country produce enough food during the coronavirus crisis.
The Minister of Agriculture, Didier Guillaume, urged the jobless to join “the great army of French agriculture” in what local media is touting as the government’s primary focus after the health sector.
He called out to the country’s “shadow army” of men and women who are currently out of work because of the virus, calling on them to provide “arms for our plates.”
The FNSEA, the main agriculture union, says that 200,000 additional workers are going to be needed over the next three months to help work the country’s fields. The head of the union, Christine Lambert, told French radio France Inter that they had already received interest from “40,000 people.”
French newspaper Sud-Ouest reports that according to Lambert, 12,400 people expressed interest in just one day, including the “boss of [clothing store company] C&A” who have “1,400 employees” including some who would “want to lend a hand.”
Local media report that the French government is going to set up an online platform which will be accessible on the Ministry of Labour’s website.
Users will not require an account or a CV but will instead be able to contact farmers directly. Farmers will be able to list job offers on the website and neither party will need to go via the job centre.
To encourage people to sign up, the government reportedly wants to make it so that the farming jobs can be done on top of claiming partial benefits.
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