Sustainable Cities

Sustainable Cities

Diversity, Economic Growth and Social Cohesion

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Maddy Janssens, Dino Pinelli, Dafne C. Reyman and Sandra Wallmann

This book focuses on cities, their relationships with each other and the disparities between them. Analysing cities as the places where diversity is especially apparent, where cultural richness is experienced and where conflicts often erupt, it illustrates how cultures and cultural diversity interact with economic growth and development.

Chapter 11: Integration of Non-natives into the Regular Labour Market: The Paradox Project in the City of Antwerp

Dafne C. Reymen

Subjects: economics and finance, urban economics, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, urban economics, urban studies


Dafne C. Reymen This chapter details the work of Paradox in Antwerp. It shows how cultural barriers prevented ‘good’ interrelationships between employers and prospective employees. Recognizing that integrating non-natives in the regular labour market is a goal shared by all parties, Paradox looked for ways to increase the rate of placement in small and medium-sized enterprises. Because the two interest groups were invariably of different ethnic or cultural categories, it might appear that diversity itself was the issue. Detailed analysis revealed the real obstacles to non-native employment: (i) wrong expectations by job-seekers (e.g. they had a qualification not recognized in Belgium) or (ii) wrong ways of spelling out the job description and thus imposing unnecessary requirements on applicants and/or (iii) minor miscommunication on the job after placement that are interpreted as incompetence or worse. These are practical, non-essentialist impediments which Paradox has addressed by acting as a broker between demand and supply sides. The approach involves looking at competences. The key to it is detaching the issue at stake (job placement) from the ethnic origin of the interested person. Second, since it is compatibility of expectations and actions that leads to successful matching – and so allows a ‘better’ diversity to emerge – it is important that job profiles reflect only necessary competences; that candidates have more realistic job expectations; and that extensive counselling of both sides must accompany the placement. Improved communication and mutual understanding can change the face or effects of diversity in the working environment. 11.1 INTRODUCTION Paradox is...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information