Antwerps: Affirmative action in city jobs

The Antwerps city council had decided that a third of all new city jobs will go to immigrants, which is their relative part in the populace. The town will not introduce a quota, but rather enforce new regulations to entice companies to hire immigrants, and to prepare immigrants better for their application.

Currently 31% of the residents of Antwerp between 18 and 65 are of foreign origin, compared to 5.86% of city personnel. According to Marc Van Peel, who's in charge of personnel: "According to the new city council, the composition of the Antwerp city staff should be a much better reflection of the active residents in the city."

He emphasized that the selection procedures will not be made more lax. However, the city will put less emphasis on the diploma of potential employees. Whoever has relevant experience will be able to take part in a ability tests. Knowledge of Dutch will remain of course a condition to work for the city, but Val Peel promises that the requested language level will be better attuned to the job function.

Additionally, the city will work together more with immigrant associations in order to convince immigrants to take part in job trials.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Flanders: Affirmative action in transportation

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