Day of Care: Flanders invests 23 million to attract care workers

Today, some 200 care institutions in Flanders and Brussels opened their doors during Day of Care. This year, the day is dedicated to "Working in Care and Welfare," as the sector desperately needs to attract new workers. Minister of Welfare and Public Health Hilde Crevits announced to be earmarking 23 million euros for lateral entrants and Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor wants to guide asylum seekers to a job in the care sector.

Flanders is facing a staff shortage in the sector. At the beginning of this year, seven thousand vacancies were open in the industry. To attract additional personnel, an agreement was reached last year with the social partners to recruit more than 3,300 people through lateral recruitment. These people don't need the right qualifications but can immediately start working while being trained at the same time.

Lateral entrants

Minister of Welfare and Public Health Hilde Crevits (CD&V) is earmarking 23 million euros from April 1 for these lateral entrants. For each of those 3,300 people, the minister provides 7,000 euros per pathway so the employer can provide appropriate guidance on the shop floor. A total of 23 million euros is provided.

"When someone new starts work who still needs to be trained, a lot of work comes on top of the people already working there. We want to avoid giving them a heavier task on top of the high workload. That's why we provide a budget to let others do that guidance and coaching," said Minister Crevits.

Earlier this year, the 'Career' campaign was also launched to get people excited about a job in healthcare. "Meanwhile, almost 500 people have already filled out a form to help them on their way to training or a job. This shows that creating a positive image and easily guiding people to training works," says the minister. This positive perception remains important to Crevits. "Healthcare is a tough sector in which employees give their best. We want to keep emphasizing those positive aspects to get people excited about a job in care."

Asylum seekers

Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor (CD&V) and home care organization Familiehulp are looking at how more asylum seekers can be guided to a job in the care sector.

"Last year, about 10,000 asylum seekers were working in our country during their asylum procedure," de Moor said. "Many worked in different sectors such as logistics, hospitality, or construction. But now we also want to train more asylum seekers for a job in the healthcare sector."


"There are permanently open vacancies," says Ann Demeulemeester, director of Familiehulp. "That's why we invest in training for recognized refugees and offer language coaching to asylum seekers. It's a long-term job, but it works." Language, transportation, and a small network are problems Family Aid wants to address.

State Secretary de Moor is pleased that Family Aid is guiding asylum seekers toward the labor market. "It is a win for the companies and the refugees. They gain experience and an income, and a job gives them a meaningful day's work," de Moor adds.

Familiehulp has eight training centers across Flanders and Brussels. Four will open their doors on Sunday during Day of Care 2023. Familiehulp trains approximately 200 people every year to become care experts in all training centers.

Some 200 care institutions in Flanders and Brussels will open their doors on Sunday during Day of Care: from hospitals to residential care centers and nurseries to facilities for people with disabilities.


#FlandersNewsService | Public Health and Social Affairs minister Frank Vandenbroucke meets healthcare personnel during a visit to the intensive care unit of UZ Gent Hospital. On 31 March 2021. © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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