Flemish integration minister Bart Somers (liberal) is eager to see newcomers take the mandatory integration courses and join the labour market as soon as possible. Integration courses are compulsory for all non-EU newcomers in Flanders. In recent months an audit of the integration agency has been carried out with a view to making it more effective. Extra cash has been earmarked to cut waiting lists and hire more teachers. Modern teaching techniques are also being introduced.
In future newcomers will not only have to attend courses, but also pass a test at the end in order to receive their diploma.
The resolution adopted by the Flemish Parliament includes other measures to boost the economy. Flemish state companies and local authorities will have to cough up 10 billion euros annually for one-off investments. The focus of investments will be on sustainability: cycling infrastructure, public transport and renovation of buildings are all priorities as is the expansion of the 5G glass-fibre networks.
The resolution calls for a more meaningful way of dealing with temporary unemployment and ensuring that training and job experience can be included in this process.