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Belgium (DE): Framework to redevelop career guidance for students

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News & Articles

Belgium (DE): Framework to redevelop career guidance for students

14 March 2024
woman writing on sticky notes

Several conclusions were drawn from the analysis of various surveys from the German-speaking Community, the recommendations of the OECD as well as from becoming acquainted with career guidance concepts from six foreign territorial authorities. Among others, the need for a holistic concept for career guidance and the implementation of compulsory work placements for pupils of all school types and disciplines.


Developing a holistic concept for career guidance requires structural changes in the existing career guidance offerings. It is crucial to make these offerings more visible, bundle them together, and embed them in a coordinated concept.


The new career orientation concept introduces a range of activities that schools will carry out for students at different levels. Starting from the 5th year of primary school, students will engage in career exploration in the upper primary level, followed by one to three-day job shadowing in the first secondary level. In the second secondary level, students will have the opportunity to explore companies, while in the fourth secondary school year, they will participate in three to five-day internships. Additionally, there will be accompanied self-reflection activities in the third secondary level. To support these activities, a digital student portfolio for career orientation will be introduced, which will accompany students throughout their secondary school career.


The aim of the internship in the 4th year of secondary school is to provide students with an age-appropriate trial of a profession. It allows them to gain insights into a specific profession and experience everyday working life. It's important to note that the work performed during the internship may not be under the same conditions as regular employees of the company.


To facilitate the implementation of these changes, an increase in school staff is necessary to integrate interdisciplinary competences into a school-internal concept. As part of this effort, the mandate of middle managers in secondary schools has been expanded to include the coordination of teaching generic competences, and the number of middle managers per secondary school has been increased. The new framework plan, "Career Guidance," came into force on September 2023. 



Source: Eurydice Unit Belgium (DE) 

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