Higher number of migrants studying integration
22 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The number of new arrivals taking an integration course in Flanders is on the increase.
22 May 2006
BRUSSELS — The number of new arrivals taking an integration course in Flanders is on the increase.
On average, 714 foreigners signed up every month for an integration course last year, compared with 209 in 2004.
The number of integration certificates issued rose from 127 per month in 2004 to 298 per month last year.
Each year, 27,000 immigrants settle in Flanders and since 2004, every new arrival has been able to study an integration course.
The courses involve Dutch language classes and social orientation and a course offered by the Flemish jobs agency VDAB.
Integration courses are compulsory for one group of immigrants, namely asylum seekers whose application for asylum has been declared admissible for assessment.
In 2005, some 12,218 new arrivals in Flanders were registered with immigration welcome centres, equating to 1,018 per month. In 2004, the monthly figure was 867.
The immigration centres in Antwerp and Ghent account 28 and 12 percent respectively. Elsewhere in Flanders, immigrants are evenly spread.
Of the 12,000 people who registered with an immigration centre, 8,569 actually signed up for an integration course, either voluntarily or by obligation.
Some 3,574 gained their certificate last year, while the others have not yet completed the course.
The Flemish government's immigration legislation, which was given definitive approval on Friday, is expected to result in a continued increase in the number of immigrants studying an integration course.
The legislation will make it compulsory for family unification migrants and certain groups of immigrants who have been here for some time to study an integration course.
By 2009, it is estimated that 24,000 people will be signed up for an integration course in Flanders.
Integration Minister Marino Keulen said financing has been allocated to the project in the government's budget and that the infrastructure is already in place.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news