Flemish public employment and immigration agencies to improve cooperation

A cooperation agreement between the Flemish public employment service (VDAB) and the Immigration agency was signed in Aalst on Monday. As a result, all newcomers will be immediately directed to the VDAB. In the past, this happened too little and too slowly. 

"It took an average of two to three years before a newcomer could start looking for a job. Moreover, only 17 per cent of all persons integrating were sent to the VDAB. Incomprehensible," said Bart Somers, Flemish minister for Civil Integration. "This government has eliminated the waiting lists for integration courses and the integration pathway has been reformed. Thanks to the new decree, all newcomers will be directed to the VDAB within two months."

The cooperation agreement signed on Monday is another important step. "The conclusion of an integration contract now happens simultaneously with the first introductory interview with the VDAB," the minister continued. "No more long periods of inactivity, but rather getting on their own feet as soon as possible." 

Since the new integration decree, in force since 1 March, 8,955 newcomers concluded an integration contract. Of the 7,203 at working age, 5,272 registered with the VDAB, which is 74 per cent. An improvement compared to the situation before, when only 17 per cent of the professionally active persons integrating found their way to the VDAB. Of course, the goal remains 100 per cent."



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