Independent shopkeepers want to guide Ukrainian refugees towards retail jobs
Buurtsuper.be, the organisation of specialist shops and independent supermarkets, wants to work on targeted training to help job-seeking Ukrainian refugees quickly find a job in the retail sector. This way, the organisation wants to tackle the staff shortage in the sector.
The shopkeepers have committed themselves to examining employment opportunities for Ukrainian refugees and job-seekers. The social fund for self-employed shopkeepers in the retail sector, in which the employers' and employees' organisations of the sector are represented, has signed an agreement on the subject with the Flemish government.
Buurtsuper.be will now use its own training centre (PMO), in cooperation with the Flemish employment service VDAB, to work on an appropriate selection and training procedure for Ukrainians looking for a job, starting in September.
"In the case of the Ukrainians, we will initially look at language use to see whether it is possible to integrate them into the existing initiatives."
The exact details have yet to be decided on. For instance, it is not yet known whether there will be training courses solely for Ukrainians. "Further talks will have to reveal all this", says Luc Ardies, director of Buurtsuper.be. "We have been providing training for some time. In the case of the Ukrainians, we will initially look at language use to see whether it is possible to integrate them into the existing initiatives."
The intention, however, is to help motivated Ukrainians find a job in the short term. "I am going by my gut feeling at the moment, but I estimate that there are some 10.000 companies which think there is a possibility of employing Ukrainian workers in the short term", says Ardies.
© BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND