Around eleven million jobs were lost worldwide during the financial crisis, equal to unemployment for one in every twenty workers. With the recovering economy, this number is now being scaled back to six million. The consequence of this expanding labour market is that many job openings currently cannot be filled due to a shortage of suitable candidates.
With a general score of 3.7, Belgium appears to find itself together with Singapore (4.7), Switzerland (4.6), Hong Kong (4.5) and Italy (4.0), amongst the countries with a less tight labour market. However, this figure has to be put into perspective, because Belgium continues to struggle with a brain drain and an ever-increasing demand for qualified scientific and technical profiles. These are the most important conclusions of the Hays Global Skills Index 2015, a large-scale study that Hays conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics in 31 countries.
Foreign talent can ease job market scarcity
According to the report, our country is struggling with a persistent brain drain because future-oriented industries are leaving our country and taking our talent along with them. Moreover, our country is not producing the profiles that are necessary to fill the many outstanding scientific and technical job openings. According to Hays, it will unfortunately not be possible to quickly eliminate the gap between supply and demand, since demand is continuing to increase and our educational system isn’t producing the right profiles.
Managing Director Robby Vanuxem: “There’s a need for technically trained people in Belgium. This shortage has long been a pressure point in our labour market. It is therefore important that foreign talent, including refugees, receive adequate opportunities to position themselves on the job market. After all, many of them are highly-skilled and have relevant work experience. The talent amongst refugees is too often underestimated. We therefore call on companies in Belgium, including SME´s, to hire refugees."
Moreover, Hays is calling on the government to accelerate the admission and assimilation procedure for refugees.
“It takes an average of eight months to get the equivalence of a degree verified. That’s senseless loss of time. We must strive to put refugees to work as quickly as possible and help them integrate through working and by appreciating their hard skills. This can only benefit our economy.”
Not all problems that our labour market poses will be able to be solved by foreign talent but, by being open to employing them, shortage occupations can become opportunity occupations.
"Currently, the government does not provide sufficient support for foreign talent in terms of education and language skills. The VDAB will receive an additional budget which will allow refugees to access the labour market more quickly. That is a step in the right direction. Let us all make efforts to give foreign talent a chance on our labour market. As a recruitment agency, we’re pleased to assume our responsibility to accompany refugees and help get their skills discovered. We also ask companies to embrace refugees because we’ve already seen many success stories here", says Robby Vanuxem.
Talent amongst refugees
A large share of the immigrants are highly-educated, extremely motivated and can make a valuable contribution to our economy. For example, Bashar Sabbar (31) arrived in Belgium on 31 May 2014. Bashar was born and raised in Iraq. He earned a bachelor´s degree as an engineer in ´automated manufacturing systems´, an educational programme that takes 5 years in Iraq. He received a residence permit, took a civic integration course and received a scholarship for an intensive language course at Linguapolis where he learned Dutch over a 6-month period. Once his Iraqi degree equivalence was established, Bashar began looking for a job. Since November 2015 he has been working as a service technician in a company that is specialised in solar energy. “I put my CV on the VDAB website and was quickly contacted by Hays. They helped me find a job that matched my qualifications. The second company I applied to hired me as a service technician. I want to acquire as much technical knowledge as possible and, when the war in Iraq is over, I want to help rebuild my country."
- END –
Hays plc (de “Group”) is de toonaangevende professionele rekruteringsgroep, actief op globaal niveau. De Group is expert in het rekruteren van gekwalificeerd, professioneel en talentvol personeel wereldwijd en is marktleider in UK en Asia Pacific en behoort tot de marktleiders in Continentaal Europa en Latijns-Amerika. De Group is actief in de private en publieke sector en focust zich op permanente jobs, contracting projecten en tijdelijke opdrachten. Op 30 juni 2015, telde HAYS wereldwijd 9023 werknemers in 240 kantoren en 33 landen en verspreid over 20 specialisaties.
About the study
The Hays Global Skills Index 2015 is put together by Hays and Oxford Economics. The report, entitled ´Labour markets in a world of continuous change´ gives an analysis of the job market for professionals in 31 countries worldwide. It measures the pressure on the labour market in each country on a scale of zero to ten, by weighing seven indicators that define the dynamics on the job market, including flexibility, education and training and salary pressure. A total average score of 5.0 indicates that the job market is tighter than usual; lower than 5.0 means that the job market is less tight. There can be large differences per indicator, which reflects a given country’s specific dynamics and challenges.
+32 (0)495 62 51 34
Elisah Van Den Heuvel
+32 3 260 96 45