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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach

Belgium - French Community

12.Educational support and guidance

12.8Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach

Last update: 10 June 2022

In the French-speaking part of Belgium, there are structures whose exclusive mission is orientation and others which develop an axis of orientation in their catalog of missions.

Academic guidance

In education, the Social Advancement Education has, through its decree of 16 April 1991, created the possibility of hiring educational advisers in schools to prevent dropout and to help the student for his/her (re) orientation. Periods can also be devoted for educational follow-up.
The pedagogical and technical expertise activities are integrated into the structure of the teaching units opened by the institution within the framework of its structural training offer or specifically organized by the institution with the exception of the teaching units whose purpose is coaching, guidance and orientation of students.

If considering education and training, the different providers have agents who work for social advancement in the “Cité des Métiers” of four big cities as well as in the “Carrefours Emploi Formation Orientation” (CEFO) in Wallonia.
They inform the public about the possibilities of studies in social advancement education and guide the people towards institutions that organize the wished curriculum.
CEFO Advisors welcome, inform, advise and guide job seekers in their social and / or vocational integration pathway.
They provide information on the services offered by the public and subsidized providers, pieces of advice on work and training abroad, they help job seekers to choose an orientation or find a training course.

In the training field, other organizations offer individualized support as well as various positioning tests for a better educational orientation of the public. The objective is to check which training is adapted to the person who looks for a training, in particular according to the skills already acquired (orientation towards modular training).

This educational orientation is organized by different stakeholders :
- “Centres d’Insertion socio-professionnelle (CISP)” (Socio-Professional Integration Centers in Wallonia and “Organismes d’Insertion socio-professionnelle (OISP) (Socio-Professional Integration Organisms) in the Brussels-Capital Region (example : test in the adult literacy sector) ;

- the Forem (Walloon Office for Vocational Training and Employment) in the Walloon Region (screening by profession, computerized or not, in training centers) ;

- Actiris (Brussels Regional Office for Employment) in Brussels (support service for employment) ;

- the CFISPA (“Centres de formation et d’insertion socioprofessionnelle adaptés”, Adapted training and socio-professional integration centers) subsidized by the AViQ (“Agence pour une Vie de Qualité”, Agency for Quality Life) in Wallonia and the PHARE services (« Personne Handicapée Autonomie Recherchée”, Disabled Person Autonomy Sought) for aptitude tests, orientation, assessment, identification of support needs and necessary adjustments, … ;

- The IFAPME in Wallonia (Walloon Institute of Dual Vocational Education and Training for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) and the SFPME in the Brussels-Capital Region (Small and Medium-Sized Companies Training Service of the French Community Commission) also guide their learners to a preparatory year if they do not have all the necessary skills to start training ;

- The EFP (Training Centre for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Brussels-Capital Region) organizes through its orientation component, orientation projects, job discoveries, visits of professional workshops, ... There is also a steering unit for help and guide if a learner wishes to follow or change training.

Coordinated by “Bruxelles Formation” for the French-speaking part of Belgium, the Euroguidance network organizes a series of events for guidance professionals, welcoming and information sessions for people who "want to move" to continue their studies elsewhere, do an internship or have a professional experience in Europe, in partnership with guidance, training and employment actors.

Psychological counselling

In Social Advancement Education, the “Ateliers de Pédagogie Personalisée (APP)” (Personalized Pedagogy Workshops) allow a differentiated reception for a public of NEETS (Neither in Employment nor in education or training) who are often in dropout. Teachers can provide them with psychological support in collaboration with the “CPAS” (Public Center for Social Aid) if necessary.

A psychodiagnostic report can also be drawn up by the psycho-medico-social centers (CPMS) in order to help the person to take stock of his situation and better understand his difficulties.

In terms of training, several organizations offer psychosocial support to their public :
- The CISP in Wallonia and the OISP in the Brussels-Capital Region : they offer follow-up and psychological support to people who are going through difficult times (family problems, addiction problems, depression, isolation, etc.). In some cases, a psychodiagnostic report is prepared to help the person to take stock of his situation and better understand his difficulties ;
- the CPAS ;
- AViQ and PHARE (for people with disabilities).

Career guidance

Orientation structures (whose first mission is vocational guidance)

- The CEFO in Wallonia, “Bruxelles Formation Tremplin” in the Brusserls-Capital Region, and the 4 “Cités des Métiers”
In Wallonia, thirteen Employment and Training Crossroads Centres provide information and offer employment workshops aimed at young people who have just left school. These centres may be visited without an appointment. Among other things, it is possible to meet specialists there who provide information and advice about training and guidance, to use technological tools to facilitate the search for information and to make contacts in connection with the performance of a vocational project, and to consult extensive documentation relating among other things to employment and training vacancies.

- The Employment Centres, which are the fruit of a partnership between Forem or Actiris, the municipalities and the CPASs, are local structures (there are already sixty of them in Wallonia and fifteen in Brussels). A team of advisers can provide advice and assistance with job-seeking. Information about jobs and training programmes is also available there.

- Employment Relay Centres are set up in disadvantaged districts in several large cities in Wallonia in order to meet the need for local services as effectively as possible. These centres operate in the same way as the Employment Centres. At present, there are five of them.  In the city of Brussels, it is the Central of Employment. Among its main missions, there are general reception and public orientation in the Brussels City Employment Center and individual social assistance with social assistance.

- Local Missions in the Brussels-Capital Region are a reception, advice and information service for vocational guidance, training and employment.

- There are also initiatives which are primarily intended for young people. Thus the Study and Career Information Service or SIEP is a pluralist non-profit organisation recognised as a youth organisation and information centre federation by the French Community (Youth Service) and supported by the Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions. SIEP has six regional information centres and three decentralised information points. It offers a variety of services for everyone (individual or collective interviews, guidance sessions, publications, multimedia tools, websites, fairs, information campaigns, etc.). Information is provided individually and documentation may be consulted free of charge.

Training structures that develop an orientation axis

Some organizations, such as Forem, Actiris, IFAPME, SFPME, EFP, CISP, OISP, CFISPA and education (5th and 6th secondary education, Hautes Ecoles, universities) offer different types of vocational guidance actions :
- Forem professional experience courses (MISIP “Mise en Situation Professionnelle) or projects for student entrepreneurs (Agency for Enterprise and Innovation, in collaboration with Education) ;
- job attempts (FOREM and IFAPME) and job discoveries (SFPME and EFP) ;
- determination of the project (personal and professional assessment, job discovery, support in vocational guidance) : CISP, OISP and CFISPA.