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Excerpted from the Belgium Career Guide

Within the industrial engineering sector as a whole, including metal products, machinery and equipment, the spotlight has shifted from heavy production to more technologically-advanced engineering methods and materials.

Employment Outlook

Belgium is experiencing a critical shortage of engineers, according to the technology sector federation Agoria. Its industrial sector employers are concerned this could negatively impact corporate growth just as the country is struggling to emerge from the recession. The Flemish Employment and Training Service (VDAB) reports approximately 9,700 vacancies for industrial and civil engineers last year, as compared to close to 6,900 the previous year. Engineering job openings peaked in 2007, before the economic crisis, with just over 10,600 vacancies.

Engineering Sectors: Aerospace and Avionics

Belgium has a sizeable aerospace industry, supported by extensive infrastructure, including airports, a satellite tracking station and space telecommunications center. The region of Wallonia, the cities of Liège and Charleroi in particular, plays a prominent role in the industry, hosting firms that specialize in composite aircraft design, space applications and 'smart' aircraft. Flanders has a smaller aerospace industry. The VRI (Vlaamse Ruimtevaartindustrie, or Flemish Space Industries) association comprises 32 Flemish aerospace companies.

Engineering Sectors: Environmental

Renewable energy and green technology has become big business in Belgium. Companies operate in the fields of wind energy, biomass and both thermal and photovoltaic solar energy. Over the past decade, the number of Belgian companies active in the sector grew by 44 percent, while revenues increased by 22 percent. Employment has also grown by 40 percent to more than 77,000 workers, many of those in engineering and technical fields.

Organizations and Trade Associations

Belgian Society of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering (BSMEE)
(Dutch, English, French)
BSMEE is an expanding organization of people dealing with mechanical and environmental engineering: academicians, education authorities, students, technicians, managers, directors, independent business people, suppliers, product manufacturers and other professionals who share information, new ideas, make contacts and promote mechanical engineering.

Rue Hobbema, 2
B 1000 Brussels 
Tel: +32/2 742 65 53 
Fax: +32/2 742 65 47
Email: Yvan.Baudoin@rma.ac.be

Labor Unions

International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
http://www.uitp.org/ (English)
With its main headquarters located in Brussels, UITP is the international network for professionals in the public transport industry, with 3,100 members from 90 countries around the world. It provides information, research and analysis on all aspects of public transport including infrastructure, rolling stock, organization and management. The organization is divided into regional divisions and commissions that are designed to better represent the individual member’s concerns.

rue Sainte-Marie 6 (Quai des Charbonnages)
B-1080 Brussels
Tel: +32 (2) 6736100
Fax: +32 (2) 6601072
Email: administration@uitp.com

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Belgium Guide.

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