Brussels (Brussels Morning) It is an old sore, care is groaning under a staff shortage. The corona pandemic has made things even more acute in that regard. The Flemish government now wants to ease the care tasks of staff by making it possible for care and welfare organizations to recruit unqualified or insufficiently qualified people with an indefinite contract. These include residential care centers, childcare initiatives, home care organizations and welfare organizations.
The condition for this is that the recruited person starts training immediately. It concerns a “qualifying training trajectory towards a shortage profession in the sector”. The staff member receives a full salary and thus has the opportunity to obtain a diploma in the profession.
Persons who qualify for the program are, for example, people who have cared for their parents for many years as informal carers and have thus developed a great affinity with the care sector. Additionally, eligible candidates include people with a migration background and a foreign diploma as a nurse who works as a volunteer in a residential care center and would like to work there as a nurse says Flemish Minister of Health Wouter Beke (CD&V) and Minister of Work Hilde Crevits (CD&V), who worked out an action plan ‘(lateral) entry’ together with the social partners.
“We ensure that their experience is honored (the ‘competencies acquired elsewhere’ and ‘qualifications acquired elsewhere’), so that shortened, modular training paths are possible,” it reads. Internships take place on the work floor and the training is given by mentors, among others, who work on the work floor and at the same time coach the person in question. He or she will then receive a diploma from a recognized training organization.
‘Labour market is on fire’
To attract the right profiles, Flanders will work on a single intake platform with the various possible trajectories, and there will also be an opportunity for a moment to get acquainted with the sector. In addition, there will be awareness-raising campaigns, including in schools.
“This action plan, which has been drawn up together with the social partners, is needed more than ever. Our Flemish labor market is on fire and that is enormously visible and tangible in the care and welfare sector. (. ..) With this action plan, we are already taking important steps to strengthen the healthcare sector by attracting extra people, to make people enthusiastic about the many great jobs in the sector”, says the Flemish Minister for Work and Economy Hilde Crevits, as reported by BRUZZ.
Flemish Minister of Welfare and Public Health Wouter Beke calls the many unfilled vacancies in the Flemish care and welfare sectors “one of the biggest challenges in my policy domain”. “As far as I’m concerned, three things are necessary: making people enthusiastic about a job in care, lowering barriers to start and the combination of work, learning and family must be feasible”, he adds.