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    Asylum seekers: refugees to alleviate shortage of postmen

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Bpost wishes to employ refugees and call upon local communes to promote these employment opportunities which have been posted. This is reported in the newspapers De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and Het Belang van Limburg today (Wednesday). The state-owned company is seeking sixty new postmen, particularly in the Flemish periphery. In fact, hundreds of postmen will be needed, in the long run, to absorb natural wastage.

    The spokeswomen, Barbara Van Speybrouck, explains, “We are already providing an enormous amount of work to individuals with a low level of education.” She elaborates, “However bpost is faced with an incredible shortage of postmen. Refugees may help to fill vacant posts.” They will be well supported. “We have an obligation to such workers to ensure this. We cannot simply place letters in the hands of a refugee,” the spokeswoman stresses.

    “Of course refugees are welcome in these roles but they should already have an excellent basic skills base,” warns Jean-Pierre Nyns of the Socialist public sector trade union ACOD (the Flemish counterpart of the non-Flemish CGSP – both public service trade unions). “Within the periphery around Brussels, we have an awful lot of complaints because the postman cannot speak a word of Dutch. It is a sensitive issue.”

    Moreover, bpost has “called upon fifty to sixty communes to help in the process of publicizing these employment opportunities, for example within the Flemish periphery, the coastal region and Antwerp,” states Barbara Van Speybrouck. The campaign has also been printed upon 100,000 bakery bags.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times