increase of the knowledge-based economy has its effect on a lot of educational
developments, on educational research and on Human Research Development.
With the growing importance of lifelong learning, learning is no longer
a characteristic of the preparatory phase of economic and social independence
as it used to be in the industrial era. Research is also no longer the
privileged field of educational institutions. Working and learning are
covering more and more each other's working fields.
organisations and ministries have their own research institutions. Policy
institutions are working closer than before with universities and high
schools. Those institutions are also becoming more and more research institutions.
The challenge for those institutions is to provide answers to the learning
questions, arising differently in the dynamic world of labour, in the world
of labour organisations and in the world of the labour market. Especially
the development of the information technology brings about a large acceleration
in the accessibility of knowledge and in the possibilities for innovation.
research in Belgium stands for new challenges : 1) it has to change its
perspectives towards those urgent questions coming from the field of the
labour market and 2) if it wants to support learning entirely as seen by
the labour market, it has to be flexible with regard to its perspective
of learning. Belgium like other member states of the European Union is
adapting its research permanently . Due to a rapidly changing social and
technological society, permanent re-generating and updating of knowledge
is more than necessary.
learning for "trained" employees as a result of research in Belgium is
posing at the same time the question if there will be a further need of
early retirement of "older" employees. The Belgian adapted social plans,
which include a diminished social contribution for older and experienced
employees, should make it possible to continue further use of their coaching
for younger employees. The goal of research for unemployed people in Belgium
is to lead these target groups via appropriate training towards the so-called
chance group professions, former known as bottleneck professions.
following issues are important for Belgium: combating the rate of unemployment
in general and especially for the chance groups or target groups (one minus
point is a weak employment degree). There is already research and development
for these target groups going on (see the selection of projects/ actions
for combating long term unemployment ). Flanders is a medium-sized entity
concerning prosperity and economic growth with a high labour productivity,
a relatively low unemployment and a large presence of intensive services.
The Walloon and the Brussels capital region have a lower economic growth
than the Flemish region.The employment rate for the Brussels capital region
has increased since last year.
show that diversity plan are doing very well in Belgium. More and more
companies and organisations have been interested in a tailored diversity
plan In exchange of subsidies and accompanimentand the implementation of
such a plan, companies can engage themselves concrete promises concerning
more diversity on the floor.
the other hand there is the issue of innovation that has been examined
and that needs further research and development. Innovation starts with
education. Flanders has a high grade of high schooled people and is scoring
well concerning lifelong learning for these high schooled people . They
are not searching for jobs in strong economical sectors. Despite the fact
that three quarters of investments from companies have the destination
for training and development, there is a demand for several sectors in
Belgium to diminish the gap between secondary education skills and skills
needed for the labour market. The ministers of education are preparing
new restructuring measures to reduce this gap.