The aim of the survey was to find out how many of the asylum seekers currently residing in asylum reception centres in Belgium have the necessary skills to enable them to be put to work in the caring professions. This is particularly useful to know during the current coronavirus crisis as care professionals continue to be put under a lot of strain.
Of those survey around 200, mostly women under the age of 35, have had experience working in care institutions or as midwives or nurses in their home countries. As long as their asylum applications are being processed, they have temporary leave to reside in Belgium and as such can obtain a permit to be allowed to work here. Some of those questioned in the survey said that they want to do their bit to help during the coronavirus crisis as volunteers.
Mr Mahdi has also asked to look into whether asylum seekers can be deployed in vaccination centres. As the vaccination centres are organised locally it would be relatively simple for an asylum reception centre to collaborate with a specific vaccination centre in its local area.