While the number of jobs for low-skilled workers is going down in Belgium, vacancies for high-skilled staff are booming. Researchers say that Belgium will have 1.1 million new jobs for the high-skilled, because of the latest developments in technological areas.
At the same time, many engineers and other white-collar technical staff are taking up retirement and have to be replaced. Jan Denys of Randstad explains we are not only talking about the ICT sector, but also about the health sector and the government.
Good and bad news: can Belgium change a trend?
Those high-skilled workers will come from within Belgium in the first place: researchers think that by 2030, over 40 percent of the working population will boast a high degree, compared to 20 percent low-skilled graduates.
This puts Belgium among the frontrunners in Europe, together with Sweden and France, but domestic talent alone won't be enough: Belgium needs foreign talent as well. However, in this area, Belgium is not performing so well. While a lot immigrants are coming in, only 1 in 4 of them is high-skilled, figures from 2011 reveal.
"But, which is worse, Belgium failed to increase this share between 2001 and 2011. And we have no reason to assume this is different nowadays", Jan Denys explains.
Cash and English hold the key
One solution to change this trend, would be higher wages, the use of English on the workfloor, and a better tax regime - Belgium has a very high labour tax at present.