About 8.3 percent of employees in the care sector in our country do not have Belgian citizenship. This is evidenced by an analysis by human resource services company Acerta of 39,000 employees in the healthcare sector.
The proportion of non-Belgians in healthcare has increased by a third in the past seven years, but it is still relatively low compared to the average. In particular, language and cultural differences and the lack of recognition of foreign degrees cause obstacles.
Fifteen percent of the employees in our labor market have a foreign nationality. In the healthcare sector, that share is much lower, at just 8.3 percent or one in twelve. “Language and cultural differences are more important in this sector than anywhere else,” says Sabine Goossens, HR expert at Acerta Consult. “Furthermore, most jobs in the care sector require a specific diploma, and non-EU diplomas must also be accredited. This is where things often go wrong.”
Among the foreigners from the European Union who work in the field of care in Belgium, most come from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland and Romania. Most non-EU citizens who are active in residential care centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other healthcare institutions have a Moroccan or Congolese passport. However, due to staff shortages and labor shortages in the sector, there is great potential in attracting foreign workers.
“The fact that more employees of different nationalities are working in our healthcare sector is a good thing, and also a logical development in light of immigration,” says Goossens. “Labour shortages are also forcing healthcare companies to look beyond their national borders to hire new employees. But the need to be a reflection of society is also present in many healthcare organizations in the current era. If the workforce is a better reflection of the current population, It increases recognition, accessibility, and support for the organization.”
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