Finding a job in Brussels is a real challenge for people from outside the EU

A new study shows that Brussels residents with roots outside the EU are over-represented in the unemployment statistics. The unemployment rate for people from Maghreb countries or Africa in general is three to four times higher than for Brussels citizens of Belgian origin. 

Even a higher education degree often doesn't help, a study by reveals. Even when candidates have the same degree, it turns out to be much harder for the candidate with non-European roots to get the job. This is despite the fact that Brussels employs a lot of people of foreign descent - about 3 in 4 of the working population, compared to 1 in 2 in Antwerp, Liège and Charleroi and 1 in 3 in Ghent. 

Women with roots outside the EU are the most vulnerable group. Stumbling blocks there can be prejudices and head scarfs. Another thing is that degrees from outside the EU are difficult to get recognised. "We now have the scientific proof that discrimination exists and that it is a structural problem", says Grégor Chapelle of the Brussels employment service Actiris. 

The study also includes some recommendations, such as rewarding companies that worked out diversity plans. On the other hand, the local governments should impose diversity schemes in a stricter way than they are doing now.  

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