The gap in the work force between Belgian nationals and people with an immigrant background is one of the largest in the OECD countries. The recent study for the King Baudouin Foundation
prepared by IES Senior Researcher Prof. Dr. Ilke Adam and doctoral researcher Mathijs van Dijk investigated one of the possible causes of this poor performance, and proposes three main policy recommendations. The research project studied whether Belgium’s complex federal state structure, and the subsequent division of responsibilities and lack of intergovernmental cooperation helps to explain the poor performance. The study concluded that governance complexity does not appear to be a main cause for Belgium’s weak results. Instead it recommends that increased policy coordination would improve policy efficiency. Based on the research's findings, IES published a Policy Brief: Immigrant Labour market participation in Belgium - high time to mainstream
The results of the project have attracted significant media attention (e.g. Le Soir
and De Standaard
). The research results and policy recommendations were also presented to the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels ministerial cabinets of employment and immigrant integration. Moreover, in September, the King Baudouin Foundation will organise a conference on the labour market integration of immigrants in Belgium. During this conference, a specific workshop will address the recommendations of the study.