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Shopkeepers added to Brussels list of hard-to-fill jobs

09:58 02/07/2024

The updated list of hard-to-fill jobs in the Brussels region now includes shopkeepers, along with tower crane operators and facade renovators, according to Brussels job placement service Actiris.

The new list of bottleneck professions includes 102 trades and professions, slightly less than last year.

Reasons for bottlenecks include too few candidates, too few qualified candidates (sometimes a result of gaps in training, experience or language skills) or difficult working conditions such as dangerous work, weekend or night shifts, job insecurity within the industry, or low pay.

Most bottleneck occupations have been on the list for several years, such as IT roles, teachers, nurses, restaurant servers and kitchen workers, and a range of construction professions, such as road worker, plumbing installer and bricklayer.

But shop directors and all kinds of sales staff are new to the list, while occupations such as bartender, assistant chef and warehouse manager are no longer considered bottleneck occupations.

A similar list exists for Flanders, where 241 jobs are considered to be hard-to-fill.

Despite the removal of some catering-related jobs from the Brussels’ list, the Belgian hospitality sector is struggling, especially in Brussels.

In addition to its labour shortage, the restaurant industry is still recovering from the pandemic, soaring energy prices and inflation.

The sector is asking various government actors to implement rescue measures, including for what Brussels Horeca Federation president Mathieu Léonard says are 6,000 vacancies.

Written by Helen Lyons