Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each has its own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that is it that makes a city competitive?
Our two largest cities, Brussels and Antwerp, are the only two Belgian cities to feature among Europe’s top 50 economic centres. Brussels is our major gateway for international finance, investment and institutions, while Antwerp is our major port city with specialisms in logistics, manufacturing, diamonds, retail and business services. Each have their own unique strengths, but how do they compete on a global scale? And what exactly is it that makes a city competitive?
Open your Facebook newsfeed and there is no escaping the heartfelt calls to ‘say no to single-use plastics’, tear jerking ‘save the orangutan’ petitions, awe-inspiring videos of cities of the future and mouthwatering meat-free Monday recipes. You’d be hard pressed to deny that, as a society, we yearn for a more sustainable lifestyle and a cleaner, kinder world. Partially born out of necessity, and partially out of idealism, concepts such as co-housing, zero-waste economy and vertical farming are becoming household terms rather than abstract notions exclusively reserved for new age hippies and idealistic millennials. But is a brand new world truly taking shape? Are we really going to make lasting changes, or will ‘corporate’ win out? And what about this Industry 4.0 stuff? PwC decided to investigate the competing forces that are shaping our world today for a snapshot view of our workforce of the future and arrived at four potential new worlds of work. We bring you an abridged version of the report.
As a result of the 6th state reform in 2014, the legislative competence as regards the employment of foreigners has been transferred to the regional level. The regions have been empowered to develop their own policies on the employment of foreign workers in function of the specific needs of their labour market. Flanders is first amongst the three regions to introduce new policies in this area. Brussels might follow the example in the next legislature while the Walloon region seems not to prioritize this policy area. Fragomen met with the cabinet of Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister of Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports, this October and reports back on this topic.
First coined as a term in the seventies, over the years burnout has not just become widely recognised, but has rooted itself firmly into our society. To give you an idea of the pandemic proportions it has taken on, the Japanese and Chinese even have terms for ‘death-by-burnout’, caused by the alarming rate of suicides due to stress. It’s easy to blame the employer, but often times contributing factors are not necessarily within the company’s control. Tackling burnout instead means maintaining a careful balance between the professional and personal.
Let’s make an equation containing three elements: city + international companies + (international) talent. The desired outcome: an attractive environment, wealth, social cohesion. Or, in other words, an attractive brand. You, dear reader, will surely be aware that a happy worker is a happy company is a happy city is a happy resident is a happy worker…. ReLocate has recently focused on a number of things that can contribute to a companies’ wellbeing – and their employees – today we’d like to focus on what cities can do. A survey among 1.264 international workers tells us: a lot.
Fashion designer Dries Van Noten and multi disciplinary artist Koen Vanmechelen, to name just two, are both ambassadors of the Flemish creative industry that will likely ring a bell for most people. Successful examples, not only because of the quality of their work, but thanks to their business-spirit too. The Flemish government cherishes and stimulates this kind of creative entrepreneur and in order to offer them a platform created Flanders DC in 2004. Flanders DC could be considered the ultimate stomping ground for a healthy cross-fertilisation of business, technology and (artistic) creativity. So what’s in it for Belgium? Fertile soil for international companies and a future proof job market.
The general take on Brexit is that there is much uncertainty surrounding the outcome of any negotiations. Let’s remember that change is good, and along with uncertainty there is always possibility. In the modus operandi of the British populace: “Keep Calm and Carry On”, how can businesses calmly tackle this uncertainty, not only for their own operational purposes but also to ensure that their employees, both present and future, are reassured of their legal standing? How can individuals carry on and protect their rights to work, study or just reside in their adopted EU member state?
With its rousing theme ‘Social Values: Better Business’ this year’s EuRA conference promised to bring new insights into how we live and work. It will come as little surprise to you that, as a people, our standards and desires are changing. Where once we were perfectly content with the supermarket’s ‘basic’ label, we now prefer organic. We want our eggs to be free range, our vegetables to come from a local farmer and our pigs to be given the chance to frolic in the mud before becoming our breakfast bacon.