Throwback on event: ‘highly educated non-native speakers, a blessing for your company?’

Highly educated non-native speakers are an added value for Limburg companies. At the same time, however, it is not easy for these companies to recruit international talent. In this context, the Welcome Management Team of POM Limburg organized on the 15th of June a successful hybrid event, which was moderated by Fatma Taspinar (VRT, public broadcaster of the Flemish Community in Belgium). Speakers from Voka Limburg, VDAB, Core, Hasselt University and POM Limburg shared their expertises. In this blog post we look back at some highlights of the event.

We are convinced that talent is the most important decision factor for business investments. Employers do not succeed in recruitment policies with critical competences, but international talent must be attracted to the region in the first place. Therefore, building a bridge between regional branding and employer brand is the aim of POM Limburg.

We learned out of the testimonials of company leaders during the event that they are facing difficulties with finding the necessary workers in the current labour market. They emphasized that therefore, cooperation with other countries and cultures is necessary, which is facilitated by the evolution in internationalization and digitization. The most difficult vacancies to fill are jobs in the IT and engineering sector.

One of the speakers, Cathérine Dreesen on behalf of VOKA Chamber of Commerce, stated that a large number of international companies are already established in Limburg and this will certainly increase in the future, with the manufacturing industry remaining the frontrunner for this region. She illustrated it with a meaningful quote: “Those who are smart look at the world, but those who look at the world also become smarter. Following trends and continuing to innovate is the key to success for companies.”

Another organisation present at the event was VDAB. They bridged the gap with the already 'established' foreign-language talent in Limburg and confirmed that about 1000 highly educated non-native speakers already live in Limburg and are looking for a job. VDAB therefore provides the necessary support for both foreign-language jobseekers and companies that want to invest in training and recruitment.

On the other side, Ilse Janssenswillen of Core VOF who is running the succesful mentoringproject Mentoring@work, underlined the necessity of properly guiding both companies and international talent in a good collaboration. “More diversity enriches every organization. The more your organization reflects society, the better you can respond to the needs of your customers and the more backgrounds and angles you have to develop creative ideas. Ensure internal support and reflect diversity at all levels of the organisation.

The University of Hasselt brought the good news that they experience many international students are attracted to Limburg, mostly because of the international masters and doctoral studies. These are all people from foreign countries who choose Limburg as a region to establish for studies and work.

Source : University Hasselt

We may conclude that Limburg is absolutely ready to host, educate and hire international talent. Now, it is time to make this internationally known for job seekers and both local and international companies.

So, conclusion of our event: do we need international talent in Limburg? YES!

And how do we accelerate this process

together with the business leaders (C-suite, HR officers) ?

The POM team organises weekly free consultation hours on Tuesdays in the presence of an experienced intercultural coach. We look forward to understanding each other better, defining your challenge together and attempting to come up with the best possible solution as a team. We conduct a search in our netwerk for the solution and match you with the right people. If that is not a nice bonus!

Rewatch the webinar via

This event was organised within the framework of the youRegion project of Interreg EMR 73.

Thanks to the financial support of European subsidy fund Interreg, Province of Limburg, POM Limburg and its associate partners VDAB and UHasselt.

If you want to know more about this European funded project, click here.