Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, the private sector in Monaco has seen its workforce fall by 3.9%, compared to 2019 figures. Not all industries have been victim to this downward trend though, as the construction sector recruited almost 300 new employees last year and now plans to hire a number of temporary workers.

Formworker carpenters, electricians and plumbers are just some of the construction workers currently in demand in Monaco. Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an economic crisis, these professions are still being sought after by businesses in the Principality. In fact, the workforce in the construction sector increased by 5.9% from 2019 to 2020, despite the 6.4% decrease in the number of hours worked by construction professionals that year. “In 2019, the construction sector already accounted for more than 40% of temporary work,” explained Renaud Durand, Director of the Monégasque branch of the company Adecco and President of the Union for businesses, service providers and temporary workers

With around 30 large-scale construction projects under way in the Principality, the sector remains dynamic

Opportunities for temporary construction workers

“With around 30 large-scale construction projects under way in the Principality, the sector remains dynamic,” assured Renaud Durand. “The need for skilled structural workers, such as carpenters or labourers, as well as people to carry out the finishing works, such as heating and ventilation engineers, is particularly high in Monaco. These job openings are partially compensating for the steep decline in activity in the hospitality, catering and events industries.”

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Renaud Durand has noticed a clear decrease in job offers from some of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. “Accommodation and catering were the second biggest employers of temporary workers before the crisis… but last year companies in these sectors watched their turnovers plummet by 50%.”

The furlough scheme has acted as a shield and helped protect jobs

A chance to learn a new trade

“We are making the most of this economic slowdown to train our temp workers and improve their skills, in order to meet the needs of other specific sectors lacking in manual labour,” explained Renaud Durand. An opportunity to “to set off in a new direction for those candidates wanting a career change.”

“In Monaco, the furlough scheme has been a shock absorber, acted as a shield and helped protect jobs,” affirmed Sophie Vincent, Director of IMSEE, Monaco’s official statistical body. “By encouraging companies not to dismiss their employees as a means to make up for loss of business, this measure has prevented a lot of unemployment.”

For businesses taking part in this scheme, they are not allowed to employ any temporary workers to fulfil the responsibilities of the staff members placed on furlough. As a result of the health crisis, many big recrutement events have not been able to go ahead this year, such as the job fairs organised by Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, one of the Principality’s largest private employers, to recruit seasonal workers.

The tourist season has been put on hold

“The tourist season has still not started and the necessary recruitment campaigns have not taken place,” explained Sophie Vincent. “The season traditionally starts with the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament, which, this year, is being played behind closed doors.”

>> READ ALSO: How Monaco private sector employment suffered from the pandemic in 2020