Almost 50 percent fake candidates for civil servant exams

Last year, almost half of the candidates that were supposed to take part in an exam procedure to become a civil servant at the federal government, didn't turn up. That's according to figures supplied by the federal government's recruitment agency Selor. It turns out that more and more "job seekers" only enrol to be able to keep their unemployment benefit.

The Secretary of State for the Civil Service Hendrik Bogaert (Flemish Christian democrat) said that last year only 56 percent of the applicants turned up for the exams.

This is partly due to the long procedure, up to seven months. In the meantime, some find other work. However, many just enrol to keep up appearances, Mr Bogaert estimates. This is a practice he would like to put a stop to.

In Belgium, those receiving an unemployment benefit have to prove that they "are actively looking for a job." This can explain why there are so many bogus candidates. However, Mr Bogaert would like to see that those who don't turn up, will have to account for their decision at their local employment service.

"Let me put it positively: the names of those who do take part after enrolling, will be passed on to the various regional employment services. This is only possible if it doesn't conflict with privacy regulations of course, we still have to look into that. But we do have to put an end to the practice of fake applicants. It's a matter of rights and duties."