With We Are Chemistry in Flanders and the Jobdays in Wallonia, essenscia organises specialised job events to attract more technical and scientific talent to the chemical, plastics and life sciences industry and help companies fill their vacancies.
Held since 2011, We are Chemistry is the most important job fair in Flanders for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. It is an initiative of POM Antwerpen, supported by the province of Antwerp and essenscia vlaanderen, the sector federation of the chemical, plastics and life sciences industry. Every year, this event attracts 500 students and jobseekers.
The ‘Jobdays Chimie, Pharma & Biotech’ are organised jointly by essenscia wallonie and Forem, supported by BioWin, GreenWin, BioPark and the Walloon government. The first edition took place in 2020 and combined a face-to-face job fair with a virtual fair that was accessible for two weeks via an online platform. In total, the event attracted almost 900 applicants.
The chemistry and life sciences sector in Belgium accounts for more than 93,000 jobs but the need for more talent is all the more important for three reasons. The sector is growing and investing, resulting in an additional 5,000 jobs over the past 4 years. To address gaps left due to the ageing population – almost 1 in 3 employees in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries is over 50 – companies need to recruit at least 2,000 new employees every year. Finally, the influx of technical and scientific talent is too limited. In our country, less than 1 in 5 students in higher education opts for a STEM course (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).