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There may be a solution for the labor shortage Belgium is facing!

If you are following us, you have most likely read the article "There are 15 new professions on the list of job shortages in Wallonia!" in which we discussed about the labor shortage.

But since for every problem there must be a solution, that is what we are going to talk about.

Today's solution comes from the co-president of d'Ecolo, Jean-Marc Nollet, whose proposal could reduce the large number of professions in shortage we are facing.

The ecologist proposes that job vacancies - around 200,000 - should be legally filled by illegal immigrants.

It is a well-known fact that most of the illegal migrants who have been living in Belgium are here since a long time.

So they should be given the chance to work here, especially as between 70.000 and 150.000 of them are employable, and then could have the opportunity to be regularised and be helpful for the Belgian economy.

It could solve two problems in one stroke: immigrant adaptation and labour shortage.

But we know that in order for you to have the most accurately formed opinion, several points of view are needed.

Opposing these ideas is Nicole de Moor, the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration (CD&V) who thinks that such a solution would end up with a large flow of migrants in the next weeks and months.

But according to me, to avoid such a negative effect, we can turn our attention to the phenomenon of massive regularisation of illegal migrants that took place in 2009.

It limited the application to foreigners who had been in the territory for a certain period of time and was excluding new arrivals.

Another benchmark may be what our French neighbours have done.

Currently illegal foreigners have the possibility to be regularised there if they prove a length of stay of 3 or 5 years, depending on criteria (see the page of the French Ministry of Intern on this subject).

The Secretary of State claims she is working to overcome this labour shortage through a reform they have submitted to the federal government for approval – see what we discussed about it by clicking here.

Unfortunately, although the initiative is a good one, it is not enough because it would help too few foreigners present in Belgian and holding a residence permit compared to how many job vacancies there are. Not to mention that this reform does not include illegal migrants.

So now let`s talk about some obvious facts: Different sectors are by the labor shortage, in a different way...

  • What do we do with the events industry that has been unsuccessfully looking for 600 temporary workers for this summer?

  • Or with the shortage of bus drivers where about 400 workers are needed to cover the deficit? Same as with the truck drivers?

  • There is no point in talking about the home help sector, nor about the hotel sector, which is facing an unprecedented staff shortage that is bringing some establishments to the brink of closure.

To summarise : There are competent people but they cannot become workers!

And you? Do you think that the proposal of Jean-Marc Nollet would be a good solution to help the illegal workers living in Belgium, the companies searching for their gems, and even Belgian economy? What is your opinion about it?

Write to us and stay tuned for more news on immigration and more!

Article written in collaboration with Andreea-Bianca Colpos.

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