Building sector needs 10,000 workers
The Flemish building sector is facing a major shortage of workers.
Efforts have been made to attract foreign workers by relaxing rules giving access to the Belgian labour market, but these efforts have not solved the problem.
One foreman told the VRT that there is a shortage of specialised workers: they are very hard to find.
Industry spokesman Gerrit De Goignies explains that 4,000 labour cards were issued last year to fill vacancies in professions where there is a shortfall: the cards were granted to Poles, Hungarians and Romanians, but each year the Flemish building industry requires 10,000 extra workers.
The construction industry says regulations on foreign workers need to be relaxed further, but the authorities also need to train thousands of Flemish workers.
There are many ways in which workers can acquire new skills on building sites with the help of official projects.
One such project gives workers individual work experience on building sites: after basic schooling workers receive six months of extra training on the job on a building site.
The building industry believes that building sites remain the best place to learn the job.
There's only one problem: the shortage of Flemish unemployed.
The Brussels and Walloon authorities need to encourage their jobless to take a job in Flanders.