Employment: Belgian businesses not recruiting enough youngsters
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Businesses complying with their obligations regarding the number of youngsters they employ are becoming fewer. The National Labour Council declared this finding in a report released yesterday (Tuesday). Low skilled and foreign individuals are scarce amongst young workers.
In Belgium, businesses with more than 50 employees should have at least 3% of youngsters under 26. Yet, the proportion of private businesses employing the “quota” rule has gone from 87.8% in 2008 to 78.5% in 2014.
This emerges from the recent evaluation of the system. Evaluations are carried out every two years by the National Labour Council (NLC) and the Central Economic Council. Assessed on a regional basis, the worst culprit is the Brussels region (currently with a figure of 70%).
In terms of sectors, the federal public sector, bound by the same obligations, fares worst. Less than half (49%) of such institutions have at least three percent of youngsters per the definition in the third paragraph above.
This compares to a figure of 72.7% in 2008. “One explanation may be the reduced staff numbers and (…) the fact that the number of employees under 26 decreased more rapidly than the overall number of workers.”
This is emphasized in yesterday’s report.
“This development particularly concerns low skilled workers and foreign workers,” adds Paul Windey, the President of the NLC. Indeed only 0.26% of youngsters, who stated in 2015 that they were in their first contract of employment, were immigrants.
Moreover, the unemployment rate of youngsters has increased with time as the level of their qualifications has reduced.
Employers who are falling short of their obligations run the risk of sanctions, however there are very few checks. “Since the policy in respect of target groups has become regionalized, an end to such checks has occurred,” the report highlights.