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Brussels residents to be offered more job opportunities in Flanders

Illustration picture shows the outside of the Astro tower which houses offices of employment agencies Actiris and VDAB-Brussel. (BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE)
05:52 11/11/2021

The Brussels parliament on Wednesday gave the green light to the cooperation agreement with Flanders to offer jobseekers from the capital more employment opportunities in the Flemish labour market.

Socio-economic forecasts and the evolution of its demographics indicate that Flanders will become a region that will suffer from a permanent shortage of labour in the coming decade. Brussels, on the other hand, is rejuvenating and will not have enough vacancies in the next 10 years to offer work to the new generations.

Brussels therefore has a large pool of workers. "There are almost 90,000 jobseekers in the region," said Brussels employment minister Bernard Clerfayt. According to him, in 2019, around 57,000 Brussels residents went to Flanders every day to work. This is already 30% more than 10 years ago (43,000 in 2010). "But that number can still go up," he added.

At the end of October, there were 72,067 vacancies in Flanders, according to the latest data from regional employment minister Hilde Crevits. The number has almost doubled since last year.

Over the last 12 months, the VDAB employment office has received 338,000 job offers, 40% more than in the previous year. Of the approximately 72,000 vacancies not filled, more than 18,300 are in the province of Antwerp, 14,700 in East Flanders and 14,400 in West Flanders.

In concrete terms, the cooperation agreement will improve the automatic exchange of all job offers between the Brussels employment agency Actiris and its Flemish counterpart, the VDAB. In the past, only 1,500 job offers per year were passed on from the VDAB to Actiris and only for low-skilled people. The VDAB will also introduce a tailor-made training programme for Brussels jobseekers and both services will set up a joint recruitment service.

Written by Nick Amies