Looking For Work?

At this time of year there are a number of seasonal fruit growers in France who are looking to take on temporary staff. Most notably in my area, the Deux Sevres are the melon and apple producer Rouge Gorge.
They have orchards in La Chapelle Gaudin and melon fields in and around Taize, plus many other locations.
Language (or lack of it) can create a real barrier when looking for work, but applying for work in this sector is very simple. There are three places to obtain the necessary forms.
1. Your local Pole Emploi offices (Bressuire and Thouars in the Northern Deux Sevres)

2. Mairies where the fields and orchards are located.They may not have forms, but will have leaflets with the necessary details.

3. The site offices in the orchards and fields themselves.

In addition to this, your local Pole Emploi offices will supply you with a very comprehensive list of all local growers in the area looking to employ seasonal workers. Given that there are numerous vineyards in the area, plus other fruit growers, there is an excellent chance to find work.
If language is an issue, I would suggest the following advice when seeking work.

Firstly take along a friend who can speak French to help you with your initial request and filling in the form.
It is also a good idea to put their contact details on the form for the company to contact. These firms often hire the day before or even on the day they require staff and ring around to start new people, so a mobile number is probably a good idea.

Drop around to the site offices from time to time and ask if there is any imminent work. This seems to be the accepted norm and the site manager is usually very helpful.

The next big work opportunities are in June and September for apples and the months in between for melons. Grape picking is later on, but the information sheet provided by the Pole Emploi gives all the latest information on times and dates for work in this sector.

If you have been unsuccessful if obtaining work up to now, why not give this a go?
I have acquaintances who have done the following.

1. A job share (husband and wife team) at a local vineyard, so that children could be looked after.

2. Full time work at an orchard when little or no French was spoken by the applicant. The site manager found another English speaker working there to help with the initial training.

3. Working in a vineyard almost all year round, save the coldest winter months.

May will soon come and go, so now is the time to take action and apply before someone else does!

5 thoughts on “Looking For Work?

  1. Plenty of work in Brittany, mostly in Abattoirs, find the right job or learn the right skills its very well paid, so many English people desperate for work, ” I will do anything” they say, I point them towards work and they say “no, I can’t do that sort of work”, I guess they dont want to earn around €2000 a month, there not alone though, the French don’t want the work either that’s why there are so many Romanians being bought in. The Romanians aren’t being employed as cheap labour though, sure there not on the same money as the French and English (not far off though) but they are getting travel, inc holiday travel and somewhere to live within walking distance of work.

  2. The place I work has started bringing in the students for seasonal work, so the full timers can take there holidays. Its got nothing to do with skills, its all about bodies, the job needs X amount of people, that’s the agreement, so X amount of people are employed.

  3. Chris,

    interessting post 🙂 well i came to Brittany 8 years ago from Germany and found work in a local crêperie (industrial work), i almost got zero knowledge and learned French pretty quick as locals where quite helpful.
    I can just encourage anyone who has the will to work, to do as Paul said in the first comment. Pole Emploi is in general a good idea, but in first hand ask directly – the “candidature spontanée” is much more powerful than any recruitment by companies.

    Just my 5 Cents



  4. After three months in France I saw an ad in “Topannonces” firstly for delivering Yellow Pages and then for a “Distributeuse”. I had to brave the phone, and it having understood half the address spent the morning on Google maps trying to work out where it could be. I survived the interview and got the job. It is great for my language and the other staff are really friendly. Eventually I will find something else. But it is possible to get work from first basics, if you just have the courage to make the first phone call.

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