Job market tightens
Number of job vacancies drops in Flanders.11 April 2008
FLANDERS - The Flemish Employment and Vocational Training Service VDAB has reported a drop in the number of job vacancies in Flanders.
It is the first fall in the number of vacancies for five years.
According to the financial daily De Tijd, the VDAB had 17 percent less jobs on offer in March 2008 than it did in March 2007.
There was also a fall in March compared with the figures for February 2008.
This is exceptional, as the month of March normally sees an increase in the number of job vacancies.
The VDAB says that a number of factors are behind the fall in the number of job offers.
The VDAB's Nancy Vercammen told journalists that "on the one hand it's to do with us having cleared out our database, thus getting rid of vacancies that were registered twice".
"Secondly, the economic downturn is now becoming apparent in the unemployment figures."
While the removal of double registrations from the database is an important factor, there has also been an increase in short-term unemployment in recent months.
Nevertheless, unemployment in Flanders remains relatively low at less than 6 percent.
Despite the general fall in vacancies, Flanders is still suffering from a skills shortage.
On Wednesday, 130 companies from East and West Flanders and Antwerp province took part in an open day for children in their last year of secondary school.
The idea behind the open day was to persuade the children and their parents that vocational secondary education would provide them with the prospects for a bright future in the world of work
[flandersenews.be / Expatica]