A new plan to integrate asylum seekers into the labour market was announced last Thursday by Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi. The plan, supported by the federal agency for the reception of asylum seekers (Fedasil), will offer training to foreigners in the catering and hotel sectors.
While their asylum application is being processed, 28 people, housed in Red Cross reception centres in Hotton and Barvaux, southern Belgium, will learn different jobs in the catering and hotel industry. The asylum seekers will obtain state-recognised certificates and will be able to enter the Belgian labour market, which has a significant labour shortage in the above-mentioned sectors.
Sammy Mahdi stated that “asylum seekers have the possibility to start training or work as early as the 4th month of their asylum procedure.”
In Belgium, asylum seekers have the right to work after four months of their application. On average, the processing of an asylum application in the country takes between 15 and 18 months.