Educational levels and quality of occupations of the national and foreign labour force in Belgium

Serge Feld, Université de Liège

Based on the processing of unpublished data from the last General census of Population in Belgium, the characteristics of the national and foreign labour force in the different regions are presented, with special reference to education levels, unemployment, employment rates, sectors of activity and occupations .This research deals with the question of optimal use of the skills of Belgian and particularly foreign labour. The main results show that non-European labour is less highly-skilled than is the case for Belgian or European nationals. This becomes apparent in unemployment and employment rates. Analysis focuses mainly on education levels and a qualitative assessment of the occupations found within a dozen nationalities according to residence and gender. The disparity between education level and type of occupation suggests a waste of resources insofar as certain groups of foreigners, especially non-Europeans and those from Southern Europe(to a lower extent) are over-qualified for the jobs they do.

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Presented in Session 144: Educational achievement and the labour market (2)