"Duo for a Job" extended: extra cash to counsel immigrants seeking a job

The Flemish Employment Minister Hilde Crevits is earmarking 3 million euros for individual counselling of immigrants looking for a job, the so-called 'Duo for a Job' project (and others). The counselling will mostly be done by senior people from the sector who have a lot of experience. 

At present, there are about 100 'buddies' working in the field - mostly on a voluntary basis - but the aim is to lift this number to 800. A project like this could be useful for any vulnerable group on the labour market, but Hilde Crevits (Christian democrat) underlines that "the mismatch is particularly big for people with a foreign background. For each 100 of them who would like to work, less than 50 percent actually has a job." 

Getting immigrants into a job is good, but in many cases they end up in a temporary job, which means that the solution is not a sustainable one. Two thirds of those finding employment, is hired by a temping agency or only has a temporary job. "We are faced with a real challenge there", says Crevits. "If we invest in coaching, the aim is to get people in long-term jobs."