Students increasingly getting jobs outside usual holiday periods

Students increasingly getting jobs outside usual holiday periods
Students worked more as a result of the pandemic, and were most in demand in the hospitality sector. Credit: Belga

An increasing number of students in Belgium are working more hours as a result of the pandemic, and never before have so many of them worked outside the summer holidays, a student survey of Randstad Research showed.

The difference between the number of students that work during the summer holidays (77% of respondents) and during the rest of the year (72%, up from 63% last year) has never been so small. Meanwhile, 66% of the students work in both periods.

“The explanation for the increase must be sought in the increasingly flexible legislation (the restriction on the number of student hours was loosened). In addition, tightness on the labour market has also played an important role in recent years,” Wim Van der Linden, external communication advisor at Randstad, said.

To put this figure into context: the first survey in 2004 showed that just 30% of students worked during the school year. Compared to 2019, the number of hours worked per student increased by 12% to an average of 207 hours per year in 2021, according to recent figures from the National Social Security Office (ONSS).


The Covid-19 pandemic was also one of the driving factors for students to increasingly work throughout the year. They were first deployed to help businesses cope with staff shortages as many people were off sick or in quarantine.

Later, they were deployed to sectors where the employment situation was unreliable during the pandemic and the many lockdowns, such as the hospitality industry, where one-fifth of all working students are deployed.

Related News

Other sectors that call on students the most are the retail trade (19%) and government/social profit (8%). Production companies (7%) and leisure (7%) complete the top five, which remained unchanged compared to last year.

Van der Linden recognised that students can be a key strategic reserve for businesses, but that a further increase in the number of hours that can be worked by this group “would not be a good idea.”

Meanwhile, working from home or a hybrid form of this has also found its way into student jobs. Almost one in four students (24%) have used teleworking in the past year, but the share that teleworked full-time dropped from 19% to 13%.

Latest News

Copyright © 2021 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.