Through the Flemish news from De Redactie, I got the good news that the demand for public service interpreters “Sociaal tolken” is increasing in Flanders. Last year it was 43000 events compared to this years 50000. The figures seem fairly low to me, but I suppose it reflects the fact that although Belgium is the home of conference interpreting, community interpreting is not quite there yet. So, it is good news in the perspective that authorities are actually acknowledging the need for organising, training and providing community interpreters.
The Redactie also tells us that the interpreters are trained for the task, through role plays and other techniques. I looked up the training and found information from the Vlaams minderheden centrum here, and from the Centrale ondersteuningscel voor sociaal tolken en vertalen. The latter seems to be a special unit for community interpreting and translation at the Flemish centre for minorities.
For the French speaking community I can only find information about how to start working as a social interpreter, but not anything about training. Maybe somebody can enlighten me on this.
I have said in an earlier post that the use of community interpreting is not very well established in Belgium, I still believe that, but clearly after my research since yesterday, I have to admit that Belgium or at least Flanders makes progress in the area.