Flanders experiences acute labour shortage
The number of unfilled job vacancies is estimated to reach 50,000 by the end of May, says VDAB.14 May 2008
FLANDERS - Flemish employers are having increasing difficulty in finding new staff.
The Flemish Employment and Vocational Training Service (VDAB) says that the number of unfilled job vacancies will have reached almost 50,000 by the end of May.
The VDAB has received a total of 99,000 new vacancies since the beginning of the year, of which just 80% have been filled.
Around 2,500 additional job vacancies have remained unfilled each month since the beginning of 2008.
The VDAB already had 37,000 job vacancies on its books at the end of 2007. The additional 12,500 vacancies so far in 2008 will bring the total to 49,500 by the end of May.
The figure of 49,500 refers only to permanent jobs. Job offers from temping agencies are not included in the figures.
Companies are also taking a longer time to find staff to fill job vacancies.
"We need to look elsewhere"
There are less and less candidates for jobs in a whole host of industries and professions.
The VDAB's Fons Leroy told VRT radio that "we currently have trouble finding people to fill vacancies in 282 different types of job".
"This is true for highly-skilled professions such as engineers and architects, as well as for unskilled jobs such as cleaners, bricklayers and metalworkers."
Leroy concludes that the figures offer proof that there is currently a general labour shortage in Flanders.
"We can no longer just look to our own labour supply, but we must now also start looking elsewhere."
Leroy is in favour of using unemployed people from Brussels and Wallonia to help ease the labour shortage in Flanders. The VDAB is to make greater efforts to get unemployed people from the two other regions to fill job vacancies in Flanders.
The labour shortage is expected to worsen during the next few years as the number of Flemings falls.
[flandersenews.be / Expatica]