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Hollande expands employment scheme for disadvantaged youth

media François Hollande during a visit to Clichy-sous-Bois on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jacques Brinon

The French President, François Hollande, has doubled the number of places of a scheme designed to encourage employers to hire disadvantaged young people full-time.

France had planned to create 2,500 jobs this year under a programme which gives employers a 5,000-euro incentive to hire a person under the age of 30 from a disadvantage neighbourhood on a full-time contract.

During a visit to the southwestern town of Auch, Hollande announced the scheme will be expanded to 5,000 places this year “given the success” of the scheme.

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The programme will be expanded to 10,000 places next year.

The job seeker would need to have lived in a disadvantaged urban area, such as Paris’s outer suburbs, for six months, and be looking for work for at least 12 of the past 18 months.

On Wednesday, Hollande trumpeted the scheme during a visit to Clichy-sous-Bois north of Paris, the scene of riots in 2005 linked to youth unemployment and disenfranchisement.

One in four French youth are out of work, and the figure is even higher in the disadvantaged outer suburbs, where many immigrants and children of immigrants live.

Many young people from migrant backgrounds say they face discrimination when looking for work.

In addition, French government statistics show young people are more likely to be hired on short-term, temporary contracts.

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