Flemish Government to invest 190 million euro in a plan to get Flemings back to work

The Flemish Government has reached agreement with the employers’ federations and the trade unions on a 190-million-euro plan containing measures designed to help repair the damage done to the labour market by the coronavirus crisis. The aim of the “All Hands on Deck” plan is that the target of an employment rate of 80% that was set by the Flemish Government before the onset of the crisis is met. The Flemish Government says that its plan is “ambitious, but attainable”. 

Prior to the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the employment rate in Flanders was around 76%. It has since fallen to 74%. Nevertheless, the Flemish Government remains resolute in its aim. “More than ever we must do everything we can to get Flemings into work”, the Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (nationalist) told journalists.

The “All Hands on Deck” plan is made up of three top priorities

1. A training and career offensive

2. The digital transformation of Flanders

3. Keep everyone at work in a sustainable way

119 million euro will be invested in the training and career offensive. The money will be spent on investment in vocational training for those already in work, those that have been temporally been laid off and those that are unemployed. 

It focuses on young people and helping them make the transition into the world of work. The Flemish Government, the employers and the unions also want to encourage more people to learn new skills and to this end vocational training will be made more accessible. 

The range of online courses available will be greatly extended, the Flemish Employment Minister (Christian democrat) promised during Monday morning’s press conference.

Digital transformation

The Flemish Government will be investing 50 million euro in projects to set in train the digital transformation of our region. The ambition is for every person that is in work to be computer literate. The online courses offered by the Flemish Employment and Vocational Training Service VDAB and Digibanken will be used to help achieve this goal.

In addition to this the Flemish Government is to invest 21 million euro in measures to help keep people in work. Sustainable employment are the watchwords here. 

Enabling people to be able to work in good conditions (thus making it possible for them to be able to carry on working for longer) and the promotion of teleworking are key elements here.

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