Flanders recruits event and horeca jobseekers for Covid-19 support
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Flanders recruits event and horeca jobseekers for Covid-19 support

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The Flemish government is recruiting service and culture workers who lost their jobs in the latest round of coronavirus restrictions to fill key support roles in the healthcare sector.

Over two dozen vacancies are up for grabs on the “Help in Care” recruitment website as Flemish officials seek to make “multipurpose employees” out of workers left permanently or temporarily out of work as officials shut down bars and limit social gatherings to curb the spread of the virus.

“In recent weeks, it has become clear that the people in the event sector really want to get back to work,” Flemish Work Minister Hilde Crevits told VRT. “It is a sector where little or no activity has been possible for months.”

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Openings range from assistant cook and cleaning or logistics employees to care assistant in nursing homes or in Covid-19 hospital wards, with the latter roles involving tasks which require close contact with patients, such as bathing them, disinfecting their living areas or changing their linens.

Candidates being recruited for facilities such as nursing homes, clinics or hospitals are often also required to act as liaisons between nursing staff and the patients, for instance by keeping an eye on their diets and ensuring maintenance of  unspecified “stocks and equipment.”

While Crevits said that the openings “mainly concerned jobs that do not require a health care qualification,” some postings ask candidates to have completed some form of healthcare training, such as nursing.

Several of the listings seeking logistics of cleaning aids also include tasks such as “observing changes” in patients’ conditions or interacting with patients and their families.

Other listings, including some in Covid-19 hospital wards, simply ask candidates to be “up for a challenge,” and to have a “positive attitude.”

“If necessary, basic training skills will be provided,” Crevits said.

The recruiting campaign comes as Flemish care facilities being to struggle with understaffing as the second wave of the pandemic flares up.

In the Dutch-speaking region’s nursing homes alone, VRT reports that 3,000 staff members are already absent due to illness, fatigue or to go in a coronavirus quarantine.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times