France to boost its hospitality sector with new recruitment project

france recruitment

For several years, France has battled with shortages of seasonal workers, particularly in the hospitality sector. Now the government is looking at ways to make these jobs more attractive, and to lead employees towards more stable and secure futures.  

The hospitality sector – hotels, restaurants and tourism – has taken a beating over the past few years. The pandemic all but wiped-out work for people in these areas, forcing many to look for other employment in sectors less likely to be affected by closures and lockdowns.  

Since the end of restrictive measures, recruitment for these types of jobs has been tricky. Many fear a reprise of past events while others realised that they simply couldn’t live off what they were making as seasonal or part-time workers in these fields.  

The French government is looking to change all that by making adjustments to policies as well as to changes in attitudes by employers with a new programme.  


In addition to recent unemployment insurance reforms, which gradually reduces unemployment benefits for workers on repeated short-term contracts, the State is changing its outlook on these professions by raising awareness of the diversity of occupations for young people and job-hunters as well as promoting training and professional opportunities via reforms of vocational high schools and apprenticeships.  

The hope is that it will be a guide and support system for seasonal or part-time employees who are in search of work and training options, even in the low seasons. The plan is to recruit more efficiently, to retain seasonal workers and to enable them to train with a view to professionalisation. 

Whilst these workers get up to speed, the government is proposing a form of subsidised housing, using school and university dorms or social housing, to ensure a roof over their heads and some stability.  


The government says the plan will only be effective with the cooperation of employers. Wages must be what they need to be to earn a decent living, good working conditions must be maintained and the creation of value-sharing bonuses are considerations that need to be take on board to retain workers for the long-term.


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Photo source: Megan Bucknall for Unsplash  

The story behind the winning image: “Forest elephants are collateral damage to the global mining industry”

A photograph highlighting the heart-breaking impact of human greed on the existence of African forest elephants by Jesper Doest has taken out top prize in the annual Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Environmental Photography Awards. Here are the other winners and finalists.

It’s difficult to imagine the hardships that the planet, its animals and ecosystems are facing when standing on the pristine Larvotto Promenade in the privileged Principality of Monaco, but somehow this serves as the perfect contrast to the photographs that are now on display here.

This large-scale exhibition features the shortlisted images of the 2023 Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Environmental Photography Awards, conveying to the public the environmental values that are dear to Monaco’s Sovereign and the Principality, and raising awareness of the issues facing the planet.

From a property completely inundated by flood waters in northern Italy to a family coexisting with rising sea levels in Indonesia, a spectacular butterfly colony in Mexico to a jaguar hunting a crocodile in South America, and a caged panda in China to the “Covid-waste” now endangering underwater life in the Mediterranean, these photographs are as shocking as they are beautiful. They document humanity’s relationship with nature, and ultimately how human and planetary health are intertwined.

‘Captive’ by Marcus Westberg, shortlisted in the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Environmental Photography Awards 2023, exhibited on the Larvotto Promenade. Photo by Monaco Life

A competition designed to make an impact  

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Environmental Photography Awards, now in its third year, received more than 10,000 submissions from across the globe. The aim is to reward photographers who put their creativity to good use in raising awareness on environmental protection.

There are five categories to the competition: Polar Wonders, Humanity Versus Nature, Ocean Worlds, Into The Forest, and Change Makers: Reasons for Hope.

“The idea that led to the creation of this contest is our main mission to make the general public aware of the protection of the environment,” said the Foundation’s Vice President Olivier Wenden during a ceremony on Thursday night. “You will see again this year that this last category represents the barest part of the exhibition; there are still not enough innovations to be proud of, but this number is increasing year by year and we are therefore very happy to be able to contribute to it.”

The winners were selected by a prestigious jury of professional photographers led by Sergio Pitamitz, an award-winning wildlife and conservation photographer with National Geographic.

“What we were looking for were images that conveyed a message of conservation, that can have an effect to help a species or conserve an endangered environment,” said Pitamitz.

‘Reconnaissance’ by Suliman Alatizi, Ocean Worlds Category. Photo by Monaco Life

“What I witnessed was one of the toughest situations I have ever faced”

The photograph that won the grand prize is titled ‘Fight to the death’, by Jaspere Doest. This heart-rending image shows a scared and defiant elephant that had been struck by a freight train in the Lopé National Park in Gabon.

Jasper Doest explained his story behind the image, which was taken while on assignment for National Geographic.

“During a two-month period, I had the privilege of walking among African forest elephants in the lush green forest they call home. It sustains about 70% of the remaining African forest elephant population, making it crucial for its survival.

“Towards the end of my assignment, I received news that a forest elephant had been hit by a train transporting manganese from Rwanda towards the Gabon capital Libreville, and I was able to join the anti-poacher units who were on route to secure the ivory. I’d expected to find the elephant’s lifeless body alongside the railway track, but to my shock upon arrival, it was still alive. The collision had shattered the elephant’s right hip and sadly the elephant could not be saved. The park director made the decision to help the elephant out of his misery and distribute the meat to the local community.

“The guard assigned to shoot the animal ended up missing and only caused a nonfatal wound. Unfortunately, there was only one bullet available, which led to impatient bystanders taking matters into their own hands. In the midst of the chaos, the elephant fought for his life and retaliated by spraying water at the crowd after one of them attempted to cut off its trunk with a machete.

“What I witnessed was one of the toughest situations I have ever faced. And I had to remind myself out loud that my rule was not to judge, although it would have been very easy to do so. As I recall this gruesome scene along the railway, I am haunted not only by the tragedy that occurred, but mainly by the larger story of human greed that lies behind it.”


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This railway track that runs through the National Park transports valuable minerals, including the dietary supplement manganese, accounting for 11% of the country’s exports. Train incidents are common because the track intersects many wildlife corridors along the way. But as Doest explained, the railway company refuses to reduce train speed.

The manganese mine is operated by a European company headquartered in Paris.

“African forest elephants are on the brink of extinction, but they’re seen as collateral damage to the global mining industry,” explained the photographer. “While it’s tempting to assign blame, I would like to believe that this photograph has the power to inspire change for those willing to take responsibility, and upon receiving this award, I would like to extend the invitation to all parties involved to come together and have a meaningful discussion on how we can collectively put an end to the continuous killing of these critically endangered animals.”

Jasper Doest won both the grand prize as well as the public award for his photograph.

“I see the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s Environmental Photography Award as a powerful catalyst for positive change, and I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to be part of it this year,” he continued.

After Monaco, the exhibition of shortlisted images will tour various locations around the world, and will also be printed in a high-quality photography book.

To see all of the shortlisted images, and read the stories behind them, click here. A QR code beside each image in the exhibition also provides a detailed description.


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The family-focused events you need to know about this summer

Monaco’s town hall has released its jam-packed list of events and happenings for the summer season, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  


It all kicks off from 4th to 7th June with the Junior Street Art Challenge on the Larvotto Promenade. Part of the UPAINT street art event, the young people’s version will feature teams of five students who will paint on the theme of “regeneration” on a 1x1m canvas. Click here to read more about the festival.  


On 7th June, the annual Splash Party at the Stade Nautique Rainier III on Port Hercules launches the start of the summer for Monaco’s younger generation. Schoolchildren aged 12 to 17 can use the pool, diving board and inflatable structures from 2pm to 6pm for €20, including drinks. Tickets are €25 for non-Monaco residents who are with a local friend.  


The Mairie has an all-day plan lined up for the Fête de la Musique on 21st June. There will be artists playing in various locations all over town in the morning, followed by American rock in the Condamine in the afternoon and Totalement 80 playing 80s tunes in the evening on the port. 


A traditional carnival with a modern twist, the U-Sciaratu fair features parades, people dressing up in costumes and traditional garb, music and celebrations on the streets of The Rock. This year it will take place on 7th July.  


The market will not be outdone either in terms of entertainment with several enticing evenings on the calendar. Italian Evening will offer the public a taste of Mamma’s own cooking on 2nd June and an American Evening will be celebrated on 4th July. The Bal du Marché comes a bit later, on 2nd September, and the final event will be a Mediterranean Evening on 15th September to round off the summer season. 

monaco summer
Monaco’s Condamine Market will be hosting lots of different events over the summer. Photo: Mairie de Monaco


Children’s Evenings will also be held this summer at the Condamine Market and in Monaco-Ville. Additionally, there will be various workshops offered at the shop at the Jardin Exotique, which will be open during the summer months, to teach visitors how to plant up succulent compositions and make dream catchers.  


A new addition to the roster, the Summer Village is being laid on by the Sites Historiques de Monaco on the Quai Albert Ier from mid-July, with rides, booths, activities, food and lots of family fun all to be expected.  


Finally, after months of renovations, the Saint-Charles Swimming Pool reopened on 1st June. The relaunch comes with lots of new aquatic activities as well as a gym. There will be two new courses for adults – Aqua Power+ for hard core athletes and Aqua Relax for those who like to combine exercise and relaxation – as well as the Aqua Mermaid and Aqua Dolphin activities for children who already know how to swim, but want to better their underwater skills.  

For more information and details, visit the Mairie’s website by clicking here


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Photo via the Mairie de Monaco 

Women of Monaco Lunch: bringing together extraordinary women from different backgrounds who share the same ideas

The sixth edition of the Women of Monaco Lunch is taking place on 13th June at the Hôtel Hermitage in support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, and featuring collections from the Akris fashion house.

Organised by 5 Stars Events and initiated by local entrepreneur Sandrine Knoell, the Women of Monaco Lunch welcomes influential women of different nationalities and professional backgrounds from Monaco to the gardens of the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo.

The theme, Fashion in the Garden, is designed to herald in the summer while celebrating the 100th anniversary of Akris fashion house, which will host a fashion show during the lunch.

For this collection, creative director Albert Kriemler drew inspiration from his archive pieces from 1978 to 1992, calling it, “A collection where past, present and future coexist – a look back to move forward into a new century.”

The Akris family business honours Women with Purpose – a league founded in the spirit of celebrating women across the globe who champion ambition, aspiration, advancement; female leaders with a daring vision for change, who are working actively to create equality, inclusivity and diversity.

From left to right: Magdalena Walid, Sandrine Knoell (organiser of the ‘Women of Monaco Lunch’), Oxana Girko, Mouna Ayoub, Cristina Valcuande

Meanwhile, Valérie Genin, Head of Investments at Barclays Private Bank in Monaco, will give a presentation during the lunch on women in finance. And Italian luxury perfumer Xerjoff will also be featured.

The event is proudly supported by Monaco Life.

For bookings, contact 5 Stars Events on Tel: +377 97707875, e-mail:


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New Women of Monaco Club unveiled on International Women’s Day

Photos provided by 5 Star Events

Gourmet: Nobu founder heading to Monaco for one exclusive weekend

nobu monaco

Meet, greet and eat: that’s the concept for the upcoming visit of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, the man who created the global Nobu brand, to the restaurant that bears his name at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo. 

Almost 60 restaurants around the world bear the name of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. New York was the site of his first endeavour, a partnership with Robert De Niro, Meir Teper and Drew Nieporent, in 1994, but more would soon follow, including here in Monaco in 2013. 

On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th June, the great Japanese chef will be returning to the Principality for a one-weekend-only dining experience that will feature exclusive dishes prepared by the man himself.  

On the menu for the evening services is the Omakase menu, developed specifically for Matsuhisa’s visit, with champagne pairings from €245 per guest, while a brunch with a DJ will also be served on the Sunday between noon and 3pm from €145 a head.  

nobu monaco
The signature Matsuhisa sashimi salad. Photo supplied by the Fairmont Monte-Carlo

Matsuhisa will be on hand for each of the occasions, sharing his passions and influences with guests in a way that only he knows how.  

The talented mixologists behind the Fairmont bar are cooking up something special too, with a fresh new cocktail list to accompany and complement the dishes.  

Reservations are required. To book a table at one of these exciting events, please click here


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Photo and video courtesy of Fairmont Monte-Carlo

Everything you need to know about Monaco’s new Green Shift Festival

green shift festival

A brand new eco event is coming to Monaco this June. Here’s what you need to know about the Prince Albert II Foundation’s Green Shift Festival.  

Between 7th and 10th June, a series of free and public roundtables, conferences and discussions, as well as creative performances, will be taking place on the Promenade du Larvotto in Monaco.  

Called the Green Shift Festival, the four days of events have been organised under the aegis of the Prince Albert II Foundation, but also have the backing of the Principality’s Direction des Affaires Culturelles, Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, Fondation Carmignac, Imagine 2050, Time for the Ocean, Agir pour le Vivant and the Académie Monégasque de la Mer. 

Each evening, between 7pm and 8.30pm, and out in the fresh sea air, important green and environmental topics that range from the philosophical to the generational will be presented through short films, performances and open discussions in the presence of experts.  

“How can we trigger a real change?”

“The starting point of the Green Shift Festival is a reflection that seems to me to be shared at all levels: how can we trigger a real change in the way we see and think about the world?” says Olivier Wenden, Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. “Science is fundamental in responding to environmental challenges but, beyond the circles of experts, scientific messages do not always lead to the necessary shift to action.” 

It is hoped that the informal, free and entirely open-to-the-public nature of the festival will encourage people of all ages and walks to life to participate and engage in the ideas being presented, which offer opportunities for reflection in the short-term and positive activism in the long.  

“In order to project ourselves into a desirable future, emotion, creation and art are powerful tools for generating commitment,” adds Wenden. “This approach is at the heart of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s mediation and awareness-raising missions.” 

For further information and the full programme, click here.  


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Photo source: Michael Krahn for Unsplash. This article was originally published in 12th May.