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Initiative to help Brussels residents find work outside the capital

Illustration picture shows signs for the Actiris and VDAB offices on the outside of the Astro tower in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO THIERRY ROGE)
05:18 11/10/2021

There are 3,000 jobs to be filled on the outskirts of Brussels and 66,000 if the whole of Flanders is taken into consideration, according to the employment bodies Actiris, responsible for the Brussels-Capital Region, and the VDAB, the public employment service of Flanders, who want to encourage residents from the capital to look for a job in the north of the country.

Following on from a draft ordinance intended to offer more employment opportunities to Brussels residents in Flanders, which was approved by the economic affairs committee of the Brussels parliament at the end of September, a tailor-made training course for Brussels jobseekers will be set up by the VDAB in order to meet the needs of the Flemish labour market.

In addition, to better understand these expectations and ensure adequate training, a joint analysis of the labour market will be carried out between the two employment bodies. Finally, to meet the needs of employers, a joint Actiris/VDAB recruitment service will be set up to combat labour shortages in Flanders and offer more opportunities to Brussels job seekers.

In 2019, 57,000 Brussels residents crossed regional borders every morning to work in Flanders, the highest figure since 2010. Nevertheless, the employment bodies believe this number can still increase.

The Brussels and Flemish labour markets face complementary needs. Flanders faces a significant need for workers - 66% of vacancies are in Flanders - and Brussels has a large pool of potential employees - there are nearly 90,000 jobseekers in the Brussels region. By adopting a new cooperation agreement between Flanders and Brussels, included in the future ordinance, more Brussels residents will have access to the Flemish labour market, which offers many opportunities, particularly in the Brussels periphery.

In concrete terms, the new cooperation agreement will improve the automatic exchange of all job offers between Actiris and the VDAB. Previously, only 1,500 VDAB offers were forwarded to Actiris each year, and only for sub-qualified jobs.

One major employer in the Brussels periphery is the airport in Zaventem. Despite job losses in the thousands due to the coronavirus crisis, there are around 400 jobs currently available at Brussels Airport. These vacancies will be offered to those interested at the Brussels Airport Jobfair on Tuesday 19 October.

The Jobfair, the largest in the Belgian airport sector, will be held in the Skyhall of Brussels Airport and will allow jobseekers to discover the wide range of positions available in the country's second largest economic hub. Whether it is an aircraft mechanic, an airport security officer, a logistics employee or a warehouse worker, there is an airport job for all profiles and all levels of education, according to Aviato, the employment office at Zaventem airport.

Due to the huge growth of e-commerce, companies in Brucargo, the logistics area of Brussels Airport, are also keen to attract new employees in roles such as logistics service providers, material handling agents, and customs agents, among others.

The job fair will take place from 12.00 to 15.30. Candidates will be able to meet Brussels Airport employers, follow interactive workshops or speed date with companies. Participation is free, but registration is mandatory via the Jobfair website.


Written by Nick Amies