Saint-Denis, Sep 26 (AP) Paris Olympics organizers and their partners set up a giant job fair on Tuesday meant to help fill about 16,000 vacancies in key sectors including catering, security, transport and cleaning, 10 months before the opening of the Games.

About 50 companies are now recruiting in various fields to be able to welcome millions of spectators and more than 14,500 athletes next year for the Olympics and Paralympics.

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The job fair was organized in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of the French capital, on the future site of the Olympic village. Jobseekers can also apply via a specific website.

“There are many opportunities globally in France, for Paris 2024 and beyond, because definitely there are also some jobs that will have for sure a second life after the Olympics," said Tony Estanguet, the organizing committee president for Paris 2024.

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“We will welcome the world in 300 days. And definitely we are more than determined to be at the best level,” he added.

The working-class, multicultural area of Saint-Denis is also one of the poorest places in France's mainland, where the unemployment rate reaches about 10% — or three points above the national average. The Olympic committee worked with the state and local authorities to encourage companies to hire local workers and disadvantaged people.

Working for the Games “is a source of personal pride," Estanguet stressed.

“It's also a very rare professional experience, quite exceptional, which I think will benefit those who need to find a job,” he said. "Having an Olympic experience on your CV is very valuable.”

The recruitment may especially prove a challenge in fields where the country's businesses already have difficulties to fill job vacancies, like restaurants and security services.

Sodexo Live, which is in charge of the catering during the Olympics, is looking to fill 6,000 jobs. The company noted that many don't require specific qualifications and that those who are hired will be offered training.

Elise Patry, in charge of human resources communication at Sodexo Live, said “we're recruiting for 14 competition venues and also for the Olympic village, where we'll set up the world's largest restaurant.”

About 3,000 jobs are estimated to be needed to take care of cleaning and waste management. French metro and rail groups RATP and SNCF are also hiring people on long-term contracts to operate transports during the Games.

The Olympic organizing committee estimated that between 2018 and 2024, more than 181,000 people will have worked directly in relation with the organization of the Games. (AP)

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