Flemish government to fund people who re-train as care assistant
In response to the high demand for nurses and care experts, Flanders has announced it will pay people who start training as care assistants on a full-time basis to make the profession more attractive.
As is the case in many other sectors, Flanders is chronically short of healthcare workers and is now giving employees from other sectors who are considering a new career as a healthcare professional the opportunity to follow a paid training course to work in rehabilitation centres, care homes, psychiatric nursing homes or initiatives for sheltered housing.
"There is a high demand for nurses and care experts. Together with the Flemish government, we are taking various steps to guide people toward the care sector," Flemish Minister of Welfare and Health Hilde Crevits said in a statement.
The Flemish government will pay employee wages to allow for training to be carried out full-time. Trainees are given an open-ended contract in the sector from the first day of school and can continue this job once they are graduated.
The additional call for 85 extra people to be financed as part of the existing project #kiesvoordezorg (choose for care), for which it is setting aside €6 million, comes on top of the 478 candidates who already passed the selection tests.
Pieter Swinnen, who decided to quit his job as a chef to work in the healthcare sector via the programme, explained that he first faced barriers when looking to go back to school.
"It is not easy to just go back to school and have no income. This project offers the opportunity that you are following a training path, but at the same time, you are already employed by your future employer. That provides extra motivation," he said.
Registrations for this project run until 7 October 2022, while the courses will start in February 2023.
This initiative comes on top of the earlier measures taken with the structural inflow channel. Earlier, the government announced it would help 3,300 people who do not yet have the exact qualifications to find work in bottleneck professions in the care and welfare sector through short-term training.
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