VDAB is a government organisation within the department of labour that addresses issues pertaining to unemployment and job training. My function is to render mediation, consultancy and coaching services to employers, employees and job-seekers with regards to placement and recruitment within the Belgian labour market. I'm currently in charge of new-comers (clients with a migration background).
This job is challenging because most of my clients are foreigners who are therefore unfamiliar with Belgium. Most of them do not speak the required languages and need to be trained in basic language skills. Those with diploma's acquired them elswhere but these often fail to meet the Belgian standards. Moreover, a large number of them are burdened with compounding difficulties such as asylum procedures, illiteracy, poverty, lack of a supporting network of friends and family etc.
In order to achieve the required results, I consolidate with partner organisations such as the reception bureau (Onthaalbureau), bureau for language assessment (Huizen van het Nederlands), social services (OCMW), adult education institutions (PCVO, CBE), VDAB centres for job-training etc. The hardest part of the job is convincing employers to take on my clients. Employers are generally resilient towards employing foreigners due to the aforementioned issues. The most enjoyable part of my job is the cultural diversity of my clientele. I represent more than 40 different nationalities and bearing witness to their experiences is akin to a journey around the globe. In this sense, my job is very culturally illuminating and enriching.