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Belgium and Flanders

Belgium

Belgium is centrally located in Europe and is a federal state, subdivided into communities and regions.

On the 1st January 2014, Belgium had a population of almost11.2 million and an active population of more than 4.9 million. The employment rate(the number of people with a job expressed as a percentage of the active population) was 62.1% - 67.2% if you consider the age group 20-64; and 81% if you consider active population with graduate qualifications (levels 5 to 8).

In the 4th quarter of 2014, the national unemployment rate was 8.6%. The unemployment rate was lower in Flanders (5.1 %)than in Wallonia (12%) and the Brussels-Capital Region (18.5%).

Sourcewww.werk.be

The Belgian labour market also displays sharp differences between and within the regions. Many vacancies may be difficult to fill despite a high unemployment rate. Various factors can account for this imbalance, including a mismatch between the profiles of jobseekers and what employers require in terms of qualifications, skills and experience.

Further info:

Labour market + living and working in Belgium:

Public Employment Services in Belgium:

  • VDAB (for Flanders; official language: Dutch) 
  • ACTIRIS (for the Brussels Capital-region; official languages: French and Dutch) 
  • Le FOREM (for the Walloon region; official language: French)
  • ADG (for the German community; official language: German)
     

Flanders

One of the 3 regions in Belgium, Flanders, Dutch-speaking, is integrated in one of the most dynamic economic areas in Central Europe and has regained an interesting growth trend since the end of 2013. However, employers are facing some shortages of highly-skilled professionals, namely in the Engineering, ICT, Construction, Technology, Web Development and Healthcare domains.

Employers are not only looking for new employees (demand to expand), but are also looking to fill in the vacancies for those employees who leave the labour market (all too often too early – replacement).

Facts on Engineering and IT profiles:

Level of education - Higher education (Bachelor - Master) with EU recognition
Language @work: English/French depending on the company

Most commonly asked:

  • Software engineers 
  • Embedded systyems engineers
  • Electronical engineers
  • Micro electronics
  • IT analyst developer (JAVA, .net, c++, C#)
  • Project managers IT and/or Communication
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Automation engineers
  • Technical designers
     

VDAB is recruiting in Europe according to its Concentric Model. We mainly look abroad for highly qualified profiles and our most structural shortages.

In the Healthcare sector in particular, recent developments show a decline in the demand for nurses. In the coming years there will however be a significant increase of jobs, due to the retirement of nursing staff and the creation of new care centers, namely for elderly people.

For the healthcare sector Dutch language skills are particularly critical – but some employers are willing and organized to provide initial language training as part of an integration package. For IT specialists and Engineers, good knowledge of English is often (but nog always) enough. 

Further info: