Minister wants answers on jobless migrants

5th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

5 May 2006, BRUSSELS — Flemish Employment Minister Frank Vandenbroucke is working on a new method to finally get an exact oversight of the number of unemployed immigrants.

5 May 2006

BRUSSELS — Flemish Employment Minister Frank Vandenbroucke is working on a new method to finally get an exact oversight of the number of unemployed immigrants.

Current statistics are unreliable and Vandenbroucke said "effectual policy is only possible if you can measure the results", newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Friday.

The high unemployment rate among immigrants has sparked community-wide concern, but it remains unclear exactly how many immigrants are out of work in Flanders.
 
Foreign residents, newcomers and generational migrants cannot be accurately included together to form one statistic and Vandenbroucke now wants to change statistical methods.

The Socialist SP.A minister will enter into consultations this month to draw up a new measuring method.

But Vandenbroucke also admits it is a "delicate matter" because talk of racism can quickly enter the debate.
  
"We don't want to go to the Anglo-Saxon method in which people need to fill in what their skin colour or ethnicity is in all sorts of papers," he said.

A group of academics will start consultations on 10 May. Based on their suggestions, the minister will then consult the large players in the labour market, such as the jobs agency VDAB, the temping sector and immigrants.

Vandenbroucke expects that the debate will lead to an acceptable definition of who exactly can be referred to as an immigrant.

It is also important, however, that data gathering will not turn into an administrative disaster.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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