In 2018 the Zuid-Limburg region had approximately 21.700 ‘international employees’. The number of international employees rose by 18% between 2010 and 2018. Some 6.300 of them are so called ‘knowledge workers’ or highly skilled workers, representing 29% of all international employees in the region, which is higher than the Dutch average level.
This shows that Zuid-Limburg (and the surrounding Euregio Meuse-Rhine) is an attractive region for highly skilled internationals. Especially Maastricht attracts internationals. Two thirds of the knowledge workers living in Zuid-Limburg live in this city. It also shows the importance of internationals (both migrant and knowledge workers) for the (eu)regional labour market, knowing that 65% of the knowledge workers are still active after one year and 38% even after 5 years (of the migrant workers 56% resp. 26%).
Of the knowledge workers, 27% are Belgian nationals; 24% are German and around 20% come from other EU countries. A little more than a quarter come from outside the EU. Of the ‘migrant workers’, 21% are Polish; 18% German and 10% Belgian. Of all the international employees (migrant workers + knowledge workers), 17% (3620) are cross-border commuters, of whom 2.800 live in Belgium and 820 in Germany. Most new international knowledge workers come from nearby Belgium and Germany as well as from Poland. Most of the knowledge workers who left the region in 2018 are from Germany and Belgium.
The ‘Stuurgroep Internationale Werknemers’ assumes that, despite the currebt Corona crisis, the number of international workers will continue to grow, firstly because of the expected quick economic recovery from the crisis and, secondly, because of the aging population.
The Zuid-Limburg labour market cannot be seen separately from its euregional context, because of the sheer fact that the region is literally surrounded by Belgium and Germany and quite a few Germans moved to Zuid-Limburg and continue to work in Germany (mostly Aachen). It would be interesting to have similar data for the other regions of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. Download the full report (in Dutch) of the analysis made by Decisio and Companen.
Aachen ranks 11th place worldwide in the Expat City Ranking conducted by InterNations. Unfortunately, the other major cities in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, Liège, Maastricht and Hasselt were not considered in the survey. It would have been interesting to see where they stand. The same goes for neigbouring tech hub Eindhoven which has a considerable expat community. The only Belgian City in the report is Brussels (30). Dutch cities with a ranking are The Hague (9), Rotterdam (32) and Amsterdam (48). The report includes several German cities, such as neighbouring Düsseldorf (31) and Cologne (50) as well as the high-tech city of Munich (51).
Aachen ranks first place for urban work life! The city offers great career opportunities and most expats are satisfied with their financial situation, also because of reasonable cost of living, although it can be difficult to find suitable housing. Looking just across the border in the Netherlands or Belgium can help finding affordable housing close to the city. Getting settled in and feeling welcome is not always easy, also because of the experienced language barrier. The Maastricht International Centre – offering most information also in English both online and offline – could serve as a positive example. And of course, the welcome events that are organized as part of the youRegion project help newcomers feel welcome in the region. For more information on settling in in Aachen you can contact the Aachen Newcomer Service (email@example.com)
Last Thursday the first Spouse Café Maastricht edition took place at Grand Café Soiron at the beautiful Vrijthof in the historical city centre. The audience was a nice mix of internationals living in the Maastricht, Aachen and Hasselt area.
Kavitha Varathan of the Expat Spouses Initiative Eindhoven spoke about the network of expat spouses in the Eindhoven area (Brainport region). She once more emphasized the opportunities such an initiative offers and answered questions from the audience on how best to build a network. At the end we saw some initiatives by spouses to start building a network within the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. This is of course much appreciated by the project partners, some of whom were also present.
We are excited to announce the launch of youregion.eu
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