What is a shortage occupation?

Shortage occupations are jobs for which the minister has recognised a structural shortage of manpower on the labour market; they’re also known as high-demand occupations. Every two years, a list of these occupations is by published in a Ministerial Order.

The latest list of shortage occupations is valid from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2023.

When is an occupation a shortage occupation?

On the websites of the Flemish Qualification Structure and Competent, every shortage occupation is described with details including:

  • basic activities
  • the knowledge required
  • the skills required (cognitive, problem-solving and motor skills)
  • environmental and activity contexts
  • autonomy
  • responsibilities
  • any legally required and/or additional certificates and entry conditions.

Not sure whether your position qualifies as a shortage occupation? Use the descriptions on the Flemish Qualification Structure and Competent as reference points.

Not a shortage occupation?

Does it look as though your job is not a shortage occupation? Submit your application for a work permit in the ‘Other’ category . Your application must demonstrate that it is impossible to find a suitable employee in the labour market within a reasonable period of time. The Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training (VDAB) will also examine the labour market.

Summary list of shortage occupations

This summary overview of shortage occupations shows the most important skills and tasks for each function.

If the function you are looking to fill is on this list, apply to us for a work permit for your future employee.

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