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Flanders - Brussels Cooperation Agreement bolsters interregional mobility of jobseekers

ReferNet Belgium

The Flemish Ministers for Employment and Education have concluded a cooperation agreement with their Brussels counterpart, the Minister for Employment, to bolster interregional mobility among jobseekers between Brussels and Flanders.

In so doing, they wish to find a joint solution to the problem of shortage occupations with the unemployment problem in the capital.

The Flemish Minister for Employment has authorised VDAB to cooperate even more closely with Actiris in Brussels, through regular consultation and adjustments, and a constant focus on direct contact between employers, consultants and jobseekers.  Feasible targets must also give an indication of the actions to be undertaken.  Flanders and Brussels will engage more actively than ever in referral . The aim is to make available every year to Actiris at least 1500 jobs for unskilled workers in the Flemish periphery of Brussels. Actiris will be responsible for actively referring six jobseekers per job offer.  From now on, the two bodies will exchange information about available posts for apprentices and jobseekers in companies in Brussels and the surrounding Flemish municipalities.  VDAB and Actiris will moreover look into how they can link up even better the advice and support courses and training courses for Brussels jobseekers, in particular school-leavers.

As of 2012, the Flemish Minister for Employment has earmarked an additional EUR 150 000 for language instruction.  He also supports the VDAB’s action under the ‘Language Plan for Brussels Residents’. The Flemish Minister for Education is making an extra effort for students who work and study part of the time in Brussels. Until now, they could not be monitored by VDAB and thus not referred to vacancies in Flanders.  The Minister therefore set up a working group in which Actiris, VDAB and Syntra are cooperating to find a solution. In future, VDAB will be able to provide guidance and support to these often underprivileged students in Brussels and help them fill vacancies in Flanders.

The ministers are committed to joint consultations with the aim of setting up a crisis unit each time that a downsizing, a mass redundancy or the bankruptcy of a company with 50 or more employees living in one of the regions takes place on the territory of the other.  The three ministers decided to join forces on the diversity front as well.  Current initiatives will continue, such as the automatic exchange of vacancies, job dating (jobseekers are invited to the company to become acquainted with the job), the language scan (the employer’s job offer is screened in accordance with the required language level) and Dutch on the shop floor. This cooperation agreement with the Brussels Region will continue and will strengthen interregional mobility to improve the situation on the labour market.

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ReferNet Belgium