Young people finding work in rural France

I have been living in France for about three years now, but am yet to find solid work. I have managed to get odd jobs here and there, with looking after dogs and the occasional babysitting gig, but nothing to provide me with a proper 'income' as such.

Last year I managed to save up enough money to pay for an online A-level, but I didn't anticipate how many added costs where to be added onto the already high price. Flights back to England, Exam charges, Marking and the costs of the reading material, is a lot more costly than any 19 year old female can afford without a Job.

It seems to me that males have a much higher opportunity for work than females, due to the amount of renovation projects, people seem to do in Limousin. Unfortunately for me, these jobs are impossible, anyone would hire a man over a woman. My French is not perfect, so my work seems to be limited to animal, child and house care, much like the majority of young people in the same sticky situation as me.

I would like to be able to go to university in two years, but the job situation is making me doubt whether or not I will succeed.

I have been to the French job centre, but once they noticed how bad my French was they seemed to lose interest, not even letting my friend help by translating and getting frustrated when I didn't understand what they were saying.

I'm beginning to realize the truth of being an adult and it isn't all candy and lollipops like I once thought it would be.

I have signed up to the Animaute site, which was surprisingly easy. I will spend today looking into the other suggestions.

I have already got nine GCSE's and a diploma as I finished high school before I came over to France. Currently I am only doing one A-level in English language and literature, as I wanted to see If I could manage self study.

As for the French, I have a lovely French neighbour who was helping me and would happily give me lessons again. I will ask her for some help.

My parents also suggested that I have a go at publishing my stories as e-books. I love writing for children and my laptop if full of stories I have wrote and then done nothing with. It wont get me a lot, but it might give me a little extra credit for university.

I've got my Certificate de Capacite and my understanding is that if you own a business looking after dogs or cats in whatever circumstances you need to have a Certificate de Capacite. However you can work in a kennels or cattery without it as long as someone on the premises holds one.

If it's something you'd be interested in Yazmin I'd willingly help in any way I could.

If you apply for tour operator work all your board and lodging is included as part of the package which is why it is a good idea. I'm afraid with the high rate of unemployment you have to do something more than the average person if you really want to work. I can proudly say that since 1984 I have never been unemployed (unless I wanted to be) despite having lived in many countries, never having a 'career' job and often never spoke the language.

Have a look at the Afpa site too:

Afpa : formation professionnelle, formation adulte, formation ...‎
L'AFPA, premier organisme de formation professionnelle qualifiante pour adultes demandeurs d'emploi et salariés en France et en Europe, intervient sur ...

Excellent idea Catharine. The Lady magazine (it's online as well) is often a good source of au pair jobs.

Why not try being an au pair for a French family here in France? Many are desperate for English speaking childcare - you'd get paid - maybe not heaps but some and your French would come on in leaps and bounds!

..... and we don't know how Yazmin's parents would feel about her running kennels on their property, not to mention the neighbours!

I agree with you Simon! If we knew then what we know now....

And despite all the hype about growth in the UK the fact remains that there are still plenty of unemployed graduates - and also plenty of graduates who have "jobs" - but not the sort of jobs you need qualifications for.


you should really sit down and look at yourself, what do you want to do in the future, do you want to go to UNI, what do you want to do with your life. Make a list and seriously think about what you want.

I listened to my parents years ago, what a mistake that was,I wanted to travel around Europe but they said it would be better for me to get a job. Way back then in the mod 1980's the only jobs in the North East were in shops at the MetroCentre. For every vacancy there was about 100 people chasing it.

All I can say is make your own mind up and do what you feel is what you want to do. It is the only way.

I've had a quick look at the certificat de capacite site and it seems to apply if you're running a business rearing and/or selling animals and/or running a cattery/kennels - not if you're just looking after one for a few days or so...

Nothing about this here

Make the most of living at home to learn French properly and get academic or vocational qualifications; until you do you are condemned to odd-jobs and don't have any career prospects at all. I'm sorry to sound harsh but unemployment in France for people your age is rising and non-French-speaking unqualified young people are the hardest hit. Education is free in France so make the most of it. What subject did you do for A level and which other subjects are you intending to sit? Did you go to school in France? Why aren't you in school now?

To legally look after animals in your home you have to have a "Certificate de Capacite". It involves taking a course and passing an exam and then registering your business with the department of veterinary services in your area.

There is a site called Animaute which will register you as a dog/cat/canary minder as that's a job you seem to like doing, you will get clients, but the site managers will take a fee (when you get clients). Inform people, vets, hospitals that you are ready to look after animals and things will snowball. I wouldn't advise combining it with child minding though, as in France you need accreditation (officially) and having dogs bouncing about might not please everybody....

University is for free in France, apart from the registration fee, and it would definitely help with your French, why not enroll?

look on the UK jobsearch website, it is free and has several thousand jobs per region, all current.

One of them certainly!

I strongly agree with the comment to 'request' that pole emploi provide French FLE classes for you. We have a Spanish woman in town whose French is not so great and they've offered to hold a class in our village even since she's a mom with very young kids.

Also, perhaps get some professional training in France--my understanding is that the Auxiliaire de Vie diploma is not so hard--if you can do the French. Yes, the pay is low and you may end up doing more housework than anything else, but a friend of mine has the degree and she found work so fast it made my head spin! And even part-time work could be good for you if you have free room and board.

Thank you for your replies, but I am afraid moving isn't an option for me. Currently, I am living with my parents, thus have no living expenses other than my education. Moving away without any funds would not be a responsible thing for me to do, especially seeing as I have a dog.

I am doing A-levels, as I wish to move back to England for university and will stay when I finish.

I'm not looking for life long work, just something which will allow me to go back to England a couple times a year and pay my examination bills. I enjoyed dog sitting and I'm trying to build up a business "paws from home" but of course that will take time. I think the advice about hotels and restaurants could prove helpful. I'm also going to see about cleaning work in the care homes nearby.

Hi there Yazmin , I do sympathise with you it is a very hard task to find employment in rural France at the moment , my son was born and educated here and and has a Bac generale, a cooking diploma also but is currently looking abroad to find work .... most of the young people here are moving away , and cleaning work is being fought over by the middle aged mothers ... Head for a ski station , get a good biligual CV together. and email it , there are a lot of jobs advertised on various websites , I asume you are living with your parents and have whatever support they can give you. All the best of luck I think you are brave to put your story "out there" .