Flemish government introduces action plan to secure staffing in hospitality sector 
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Flemish government introduces action plan to secure staffing in hospitality sector 

Credit: Belga

An action plan has been developed to boost employment and new vacancies in the hospitality sector by Flemish Minister of Work and Economy Hilde Crevits together with the hotel and catering industry.

During the coronavirus crisis, many employees in these sectors left their jobs or were made temporarily unemployed, and the sector has been expressing concerns that there will not be enough staff to guarantee a smooth return if terraces can reopen on 8 May.

“The hospitality sector has been hit hard by this crisis and many employees have gone elsewhere in the meantime. Despite the long closure, it is important to look to the future, and we are taking various concrete initiatives to do so,” Crevits said in a press release.

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The initiative was launched in response to the outflow of personnel and the decreasing inflow, meaning it is likely that vacancies in the hotel and catering industry will be harder to fill, according to Crevits.

It focuses on filling vacancies and efforts to keep temporarily unemployed people in the sector in the short term:

  • Additional training: In addition to workshops, the VDAB is organising growth pathways from ‘kitchen assistant to assistant cook’ and from ‘dining room assistant to assistant waiter’ to help the growth potential of experienced hospitality workers;
  • Classes will be organised on entrepreneurship, profitability, ergonomics and sustainability within the sector;
  • Digital information packages: For new recruits, these packages will be created to inform people about job opportunities in the sectors to strengthen the inflow process;
  • Mobile training unit: This will be fully equipped with catering material and that can be used as a training location for workshops or to introduce young people to jobs and training in the catering industry;
  • Dismissed employees: Horeca Forma, a training organisation for social partners including ACV, Horeca Vlaanderen, and Comeos, will inform dismissed employees or employees threatened with dismissal about further career opportunities in the sector and possible training

“Together with the sector, we want to make sure that everything is ready for a sustainable and safe reopening of the hotel and catering industry,” said Crevits.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times