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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Developments and current policy priorities

Belgium - French Community

8.Adult education and training

8.2Developments and current policy priorities

Last update: 27 November 2023

Given the institutional complexity described in 8.1, the political authorities have introduced transversal policies, and in particular the following initiatives :

• Working groups and joint meetings of the governments of the Community, the Walloon Region, the Brussels-Capital Region and the French Community Commission (Cocof) are organised on the subjects of employment, training and education. Structures are gradually being introduced to translate this desire for synergy into concrete form. Thus the skills centres and the advanced technology centres (CTAs) are accessible to both pupils from qualification stream education and adults undergoing training ;

• As part of efforts to strengthen the links between the world of business and vocational education and training structures, including social advancement education, a French-Language Professions and Qualifications Service (SFMQ) has been created (decree 30/04/2009). In concrete terms, the purpose of this change is to ensure that socio-economic actors, starting with the parties to social dialogue, can understand realities in the world of business, developments in that world, and its requirements in terms of skills and qualifications, and ultimately to ensure that those realities are taken into account when devising school or training curricula, so as to facilitate young people’s access to employment ;

• A cooperation agreement between the Walloon Region, Cocof and the French Community has created a permanent adult literacy steering organisation, whose main purpose is to investigate possibilities for bringing about improved coordination within this sector ;

• A Skills Validation Consortium has been established which brings together representatives of five public institutions for continuing vocational training – one falling within the competence of the French Community (social advancement), and the others within that of the Regions (Forem, Bruxelles Formation, IFAPME and SFPME).

The main thrusts of French-speaking Belgian policy on lifelong education and training are presented in particular in the declarations made by the various relevant governments on their entry into office. The July 2014 declarations extend and amplify the previous declarations and reinforce the synergies between power levels.

The 2014-2019 DPR aims to strengthen training and guidance policies, particularly promising trades and trades in demand, to increase access to higher education and lifelong training, alternative pathways, develop certification for vocational training and the recognition and validation of skills.

From this viewpoint, the governments of Wallonia and the French Community adopted a Marshall Plan 4.0 on 29th May 2015, which will focus on specific devices. In training, the focus will be on the development of :

- dual vocational education as pathway of excellence (which includes the topic of internships in businesses, the status of the learner and the recognition of skills) ;

- The development of the learner’s orientation (particularly in developing living areas, the cities of business and strengthening "business tests") ;

- Facilitating access to higher education and training throughout life ;

- Devices to strengthen the knowledge of foreign languages.

During the first half of 2015, within the general framework of the Youth Guarantee Scheme of the Brussels Capital Region (one of the 18 projects of the 2025 Strategy), a joint action plan between compulsory education departments and public services and the youth action of the Communities will be finalised to be operational at local level by the start of the 2015-2016 academic year at the latest.

Forming a compulsory part of a set of cross-sectoral (education, employment, youth information, staying on in school, middle-classes, etc.) and multi-level (European, Federal, Regional, Community, local) policies, the Youth Guarantee Scheme aims to help combat unemployment and underemployment in young people aged between 15 and 25 and to improve their skills (in a broad sense) with a view to their (re)entry into the labour market.

Beyond these general aims, the different categories of institution that provide adult education and training pursue specific goals, which in many cases are linked with the particular target group that they serve.