Belgium offers a highly educated, productive, trained and multilingual workforce. Compared with other European countries, the country has one of the highest standards of education, the largest proportion of people who are completely multilingual and the lowest levels of absenteeism.
Brussels thinks internationally. The schools and universities are world class, and provide a labour pool that is highly trained and educated. Approximately 35% of the one million residents in Brussels have a university degree or qualification of higher education. In terms of business education, Belgium is second only to the UK.
According to the European Cities Monitor, Brussels ranks high for languages spoken (2nd), availability of qualified staff, and good access to markets, consumers and customers. There are 140,000 Europeans of other nationalities living in Brussels. This means that there are employable specialists who are fluent in all the European languages. In terms of fluency in English, Belgium ranks second only to the Netherlands.
The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 (IMD) also ranks Brussels high in terms of languages spoken and fluency in English. And the report rates Brussels favourably for the availability of senior managers with international experience, motivated staff educated to university level and its pool of qualified engineers.
The IMD annual report is one of the world’s most thorough and comprehensive on the competitiveness of nations. It provides coverage of 57 economies, all key players in major markets. The economies are chosen based on their impact on the global economy and the availability of comparable statistics. Over 300 competitiveness criteria are evaluated.