14 Jan 2009

French tv programme boosts interest in New Caledonia

11:45 am on 14 January 2009

Reports from New Caledonia say there has been an increase in job inquiries from France after a television programme portrayed the Pacific territory as the last French eldorado.

An employment agent has told the AFP news agency that since the broadcast, there has been a flood of spontaneous applications in all areas in an apparent bid to escape the gloom in France.

In the past 10 years, New Caledonia has seen 30,000 immigrants to raise the population to a quarter of a million, with the economy continuing to boom partly as a result of large scale nickel projects.

There is however concern that young Pacific Islanders miss out on opportunities because of a general failure to attain educational qualifications.

Attempts by New Caledonia to adopt a policy favouring the employment of locals have failed.