One in eight job seekers does not know enough Dutch

One in eight job seekers in Flanders has only limited knowledge of Dutch. This significantly reduces their chances of finding a job, according to De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws, according to new figures from Flemish Minister for Work Hilde Crevits (CD&V).

In 89 percent of the vacancies, knowledge of Dutch is requested by the employer. For French, this is the case in 21 percent of vacancies (especially on the coast, in the border region and in the Brussels periphery), for English it is 18 percent and for German it is barely 1 percent. In 60 percent of all vacancies in Flanders, only knowledge of Dutch is expected.

The requested level of language proficiency is also high. In 96 percent of the vacancies in which knowledge of Dutch is requested, the employer expects a good to very good command of the language.

Less chance of work

While almost all job seekers in Flanders are able to speak a little Dutch, one in eight say they have only a limited knowledge of the language. The chance that a jobseeker with a language delay will not have found a job after six months of applying is 21 percent higher than average.

In the coming months, Flemish minister Crevits wants to revise current job and language coaching to improve knowledge of Dutch and adapt it to the needs of the labor market.

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