Temporary workers to ease staff shortages in Belgian reception centres for asylum seekers

Temporary workers will be deployed to deal with the persistent staff shortage in Belgian reception centres for asylum seekers. This was said by the staffing federation Federgon on Friday and confirmed by Fedasil, the federal agency for the reception of asylum seekers.

According to Federgon, 63 temporary workers are being sought to be deployed in the day-to-day operations of the reception centres. They include nurses but also reception staff, and social assistants. The extra staff are needed to cope with the large flow of asylum seekers. "There is a tightness in the labour market. As a result, we are struggling to find staff to open additional places," ​ Fedasil spokeswoman Mieke Candaele confirmed.

Rising asylum applications

The reception crisis in Belgium is more problematic than in 2015, when the biggest refugee crisis hit Europe since World War II. While 2015 saw a high but brief peak in the number of new asylum applications, that number has been rising for two years in a row. It is also striking that this sustained increase is more distinct in the Benelux than in other European countries. ​

France and Germany currently have proportionately far fewer asylum applications than Belgium. Scandinavia also currently has meagre figures. As a result, there is much less of a refugee crisis in Europe compared to 2015.

Additional staff

The Belgian government announced 150 additional staff to assist Fedasil in the short term. However, the new temporary workers should already bring improvement. It is not the first time the federal government has used temporary workers, but it is the first time they have been deployed to tackle the shelter crisis.

The deployment of temporary workers was made possible by the federal government's decision. A framework agreement was reached, which allows temporary employment agency Randstad as a preferential partner to look for specific profiles. Tempo-Team, Manpower and Start People can also be called in.



© BELGA PHOTO Eric Lalmand


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