In the mountains, seasonal workers are desired

Receptionist, waiter, chef, seller of regional products or sporting goods, pharmacist, technical agent, skiman, driver, concierge, housekeeper, holiday advisor, youth leader, diver, ice cream maker for the bobsleigh track, storekeeper, valet, sports leader, baker, beautician, spa practitioner, pizza maker, night porter, parking attendant, chalet manager, sommelier.

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It takes everything to make a station and, a few days before opening, they lack everything. In Courchevel, where the largest ski area in the world, Les Trois-Vallées, opens this Saturday, December 4, the town hall’s recruitment site listed, four days earlier, no less than 229 advertisements.

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Employers and municipalities estimate the proportion of positions still unfilled at 5 to 10%. “It was very laborious, very complicated, explains Jean-Luc Boch, mayor (LR) of La Plagne and president of France Montagnes, which brings together players in the winter sports industry. The sanitary pass and the uncertainty about the opening of the ski lifts entered the equation. And the psychological effect of the crisis will have lasting consequences. “

“Unprecedented difficulties”

Winter sports resorts are not immune to the labor shortage that is affecting many sectors. This seasonal economy almost all offers short and poorly paid contracts and busy days, against the promise of an extraprofessional life rich in encounters and thrills.

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About half of the positions are in the hotel and catering industry, where recruitment difficulties are structural. Nicolas Chatillon, director of the group of upscale hotels and chalets Les Etincelles, notes “Unprecedented difficulties in attracting seasonal workers with expertise and experience”, with the flight of some regulars to other destinations where the tourist season initially seemed less compromised. “But, for two weeks, demand has returned”, he nuances.

After a season without ski lifts and a world of work turned upside down by the Covid-19, the difficulties have spread to other sectors. The municipality of La Plagne, for example, has had difficulty recruiting for its municipal police, its transport authority or its crèches.

Almost all of the contracts offered are accommodated and applicants are now able to make some requirements

On the Facebook groups of seasonal workers, candidates do not go unanswered for long. The proposals are raining, from the small restaurant to the sports chain through large groups like Village Vacances France (VVF) or Club Med, whose official accounts slip into Facebook comments. Almost all of the positions offered are housed – not necessarily on site – and applicants are now able to make some requirements.

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