Expatica news

1,000 “new Poles” a month

30 May 2007

BRUSSELS – Flemish businesses have recruited 14,209 “new Europeans” – mainly Polish – to fill jobs in sectors with labour shortages over the past 12 months. Most are working in seasonal labour however.

This emerges from the Flemish government’s most recent figures on labour permits for “new” Europeans. The figures are for the May 2006 to May 2007 period. The figures indicate an average of 1,184 new labour migrants a month.

Since 1 June last year Belgian businesses have been able to make use of an accelerated 5-day procedure to obtain work permits for workers from the countries that joined the EU in 2004. They may only hire the new labour migrants for difficult-to-fill jobs, for which not enough suitable candidates can be found in Belgium.

Flanders has designated 112 professions as having a shortage of workers. Many of these are in construction. But the majority of the 14,209  “newcomers” – 10,452 to be precise, 73.5 percent – are working in seasonal jobs in agriculture and horticulture. Some 2,138 of the new migrants are working in construction.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news