Bpost boost! strengthens and extends the company’s existing training programme, providing jobseekers with a gateway to high-quality employment at the company or at employers in other industries that struggle to find skilled labour. It’s bpost’s ambition to train 10,000 people over the next five years.
bpost boost! is a response to the disparity between supply and demand in Belgium, where the number of jobseekers far outstrips the number of vacancies. Some 1.4 million people of working age are unemployed in Belgium. And yet employers are unable to find the right profile for a huge number of vacancies. This lack of candidates is explained in part by the fact that jobseekers do not have the skills these employers demand. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transition, which creates additional difficulties for jobseekers, who need to learn new skills before they can apply for long-term jobs in these growth industries.
“That’s why bpost wants to act now. The public company, which employs more than 26,000 people in Belgium, wishes to play a more active role in training employees to make them more employable and so make it easier for them to integrate into society,” says Mark Michiels, Chief Human Resources Officer of bpost group. “This is not a new role for bpost. Every year, bpost recruits around 3,000 to 4,000 people, mainly people from vulnerable groups, the unemployed and the low-skilled. Investing in employee training and continued training in various ways has been important for bpost for many years.”
The company invests in its (future) employees by providing training to improve their employability, with the assistance of several partners throughout the country, such as Forem in Wallonia and VDAB in Flanders. The German-speaking Community and the Brussels-Capital Region will follow later this year.
On the one hand, the aim of the project is to offer jobseekers work-based training leading to a long-term job at bpost as a versatile operator. On the other hand, it offers operational employees continued training to enable them to take up other challenges in the company.In due course, the goal is to roll out this training initiative at other employers who experience difficulties finding skilled employees, particularly in transport and logistics.
In Wallonia, 21 candidates who already have an upper secondary education diploma and a driving licence are following Forem’s short programme (three-and-a-half months). The (one-year) long programme for jobseekers who do not have an upper secondary education diploma or a driving licence will be launched in September 2021. In Flanders, 171 people have completed training this year as part of a partnership with VDAB. Similar programmes will be launched in September 2021 in Brussels, in association with Bruxelles Formation and Actiris, and in the German-speaking Community, in partnership with Ostbelgien Emploi, Arbeitsamt and ZAWM/IAWM. The goal is to train 600 candidates across Belgium in 2021. It’s bpost’s ambition to train 10,000 people over the next five years.
Dirk Tirez, Chief Executive Officer a.i.: "bpost wants to strengthen the role of social ladder in society. bpost boost! is therefore a project that is particularly close to my heart because, at bpost, we consider training and sustainable employment to be an essential means of promoting the inclusion of vulnerable people and of fighting poverty and social exclusion. We want to continue to contribute, as a driving force for retraining and skills development, to having a real societal impact. And of course, this programme will enable us to recruit thousands of skilled people to strengthen the bpost teams in the years to come."
Mark Michiels, Chief HR&O Officer de bpost : "People who want to work for us do not need to have a diploma. However, we do recognise that a diploma can give people a huge boost in terms of self-confidence and self-esteem. These people have often experienced disappointments and setbacks. That’s why we support those who want to study for their diploma while working at bpost. The work they do is recognised as a work placement, while the theoretical part is covered by distance learning. We don’t just want to play a social role, we also see a commercial case for keeping employees motived.”