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Refugees more likely to find work in Flanders
According to a survey of 70,000 refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Belgium between 2000 and 2010, about a quarter of them found a job. The newcomers had nearly twice as many job opportunities in Flanders as in Wallonia, reports De Morgen.
It was already known that non-European immigrants, such as those moving to Belgium on the basis of family reunification, find it easier to land a job in Flanders than in the rest of the country. But it now appears that this is also the case for refugees and asylum seekers, according to the first major study of its kind, commissioned by the Federal Migration Centre. The study reveals that the 70,000 asylum seekers who arrived in Belgium between 2000 and 2010 were 90% more likely to find a job in Flanders than anywhere else in the country.
Economic conditions in Flanders are generally better than in Brussels or Wallonia, mainly because the region is more urbanised. But that may not be the only explanation, says researcher Johan Wets: "A native Belgian is 50% more likely to find work in Flanders than in Wallonia. For refugees, that chance is 90% higher."
ULB professor Andrea Rea points to regional differences in integration policy. In Flanders, for example, social orientation courses in Dutch became mandatory in 2004, while in French-speaking Belgium similar courses have only been available on a voluntary basis since 2009.