As a newcomer (HER) to Flanders, you need an orientation to make a decision on how to proceed on a right path to find a job at your level. One of our career coaches can help you for that.
For doing it on your own; First, you need to have enough information Flemish labour market. “What is available/needed in the market?”
Second, you need to know yourself, namely your own competencies (skills, knowledge, and on-the-job ability), your strengths and weaknesses. “What I want to do?”

Info on the Flemish Labour Market

If you are a highly educated refugee (HER) and you want to find a job at your level in Flanders, learning about Flemish labour market isn’t something you can do by only online search. You need to make contacts, find relevant networking events and mentors. Then you should know and follow these important tips.

  • What is also important is your knowledge on the Flemish labor market.
  • Do you want to know for which sectors and jobs there are many vacancies? See the bottleneck jobs below. You can also find statistics on  VDAB Arvastat webpage. Via this page you can view the vacancies by sector or job for your region.
  • Do you want to know which jobs are available and how many job seekers are looking for the same job as you?  Then enter your profession on the VDAB application "Jobs in numbers".

Bottleneck Jobs

Knowing the bottleneck jobs at firsthand might be helpful for you to make your decisions and reach your goals.
A bottleneck job is a job for which filling vacancies is on average more difficult than for other jobs. People also speak of 'bottleneck vacancies'; these are vacancies with a duration of more than 90 days. Those might be easier to attain for you.
You can find the list of bottleneck jobs at VDAB (Flanders) and ACTIRIS (Brussels). At education selector (onderwijskiezer) you can find also an overview of the bottleneck jobs of both. By clicking on a job you open an information sheet with information about that profession.

Here on the left is a list of most wanted bottleneck jobs (2019) in different sectors for highly educated persons in Flanders.

Sector Most wanted bottleneck jobs for highly educated
  • Insurance manager
  • Insurance advisor
  • Accountant
  • Financial Audit
  • Conductor
  • Site manager
  • Calculator
  • Data communication network installator
Communication Information
  • Company Analyst ICT
  • Analyst developer ICT
  • Network manager
  • Research and development expert in industry
Service provider
  • Shop manager
Ho-re-ca, commerce, sales
  • Shop department responsible
  • Technical commercial advisor
  • Technical advisor client support
  • Supervisor industrial production
  • Supervisor mechanical production
  • Draftsman-designer electronics
  • Industrial maintenance
  • Technician
Medical, care
  • Nurse
  • Doctor
  • Hospital pharmacy
  • Teacher Secondary Education
Transport, Logistics
  • Logistics officer
  • Expeditor
  • Customs declarant

Good to know: Vacancies booming!

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While the number of jobs for low-skilled workers is going down in Belgium, vacancies for high-skilled staff are booming. Researchers say that Belgium will have 1.1 million new jobs for the high-skilled, because of the latest developments in technological areas (VRT). IT related and finance jobs are high demand jobs In Flanders.
In June 2019, the unemployment rate in Belgium dropped to 5.6 percent, an almost percentage point below the EU average. Though more people are finding jobs in Belgium, employers continue to experience difficulty filling vacancies. Belgium has the second-highest job vacancy rate in the EU at 3.6 percent, and showed the largest year-over-year increase.

Know yourself better

It is important to know who you are, what you can doandwhat you want. If you want to build a sustainable career, it is important to consider the following aspects:

(1) Motivation: What do I find important in a job? What do I need to feel job satisfaction in my job?
(2) Qualities: What are my qualifications, competences and skills? Map what you can and cannot do. Be sure to ask others how they see you.

On the VDAB website you will also find various tests that give you insight into who you are, what your knowledge is and which jobs suit you best. That way you get to know yourself better.

If you want to know which profession suits you, then VDAB has a few tips for you, but you can also do a career orientation test. Please note, the results of this test can only be saved via your VDAB account. Don’t have a VDAB account yet? Then register here.

Use our own tool “All-in-one 4HER Career Passport” in order to be able to better reflect your inner compass.

Invest in your strengths

If you defined your strengths, you can go for investing in them. When it comes to your weaknesses, you may need to improve them. Language (Dutch) is certainly one of them, maybe the most important one.
You can use NIMAP Career Focus Tool for making your decisions.

Get career coaching for your orientation

It is best getting external help for your orientation. We provide 16 HERs with professional FREE career coaching by our professional coaches (Antwerp, Limburg). Get more information here and register for being a candidate for All-in-one 4 HER career coaching program.

This program is also provided via VDAB career coaching cheques for only the residents who already have a job and want to change their career path. Every 6 years when you are in a job, you have a right of 8 hours career coaching with a discount.

You can also make use of our FREE mentoring programs for getting help for your orientation. See our mentoring page for more information.