3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities
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Flemish students in higher education can do their internship in another country. Young people can also do an internship outside Belgium, even if this is not part of any education. There are opportunities to do holiday jobs, but also real jobs beyond the Flemish and Belgian borders. JINT (the coordination body for International Youth Work funded by the Government of Flanders) informs young people about international opportunities and helps young people and youth organisations to make their international plans a reality.
The website www.gostrange.be is one of the main instruments for cross-border mobility, as well as the bi-annual information fair ‘Go Strange’. The information fairs in Brussels (2015) and Ghent (2017) have reached together 2330 visitors with plans to go abroad.
Go Strange is part of the information network Eurodesk and has partners in 33 countries. It is also powered by JINT vzw, the coordinating body for international youth work. JINT was commissioned by the Flemish government to make young people aware of their possibilities to go abroad for more than just tourism reasons. JINT informs, stimulates and supports Flemish youngsters to go international.
The purpose of VDAB-EURES services is to provide information, advice and recruitment/placement (job-matching) services for the benefit of (young) workers and employers.
VDAB participates in the EURES-network, thus offering job-seekers support in finding a job abroad. VDAB has implemented an action plan for international mobility.
Flanders Trainee Programme
The Government of Flanders provides grants for traineeships in multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, OESO or the Council of Europe.
They are for young people under the age of 35. The traineeships last at least 2 months and maximum 6 months in an international organisation. The Flanders Trainee Programme reimburses travel and accommodation expenses.
MOBILE 2 – Mobility in apprenticeships
Apprentices are able to participate in a European international exchange project (MOBILE). During a traineeship abroad lasting a fortnight, apprentices can gain insights into a foreign company in the Netherlands, France or Germany. Apprentices receive a grant from the Erasmus+ programme.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
Erasmus for young entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme that offers new and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, who run small businesses in one of the other cooperating countries.
The exchange of experience takes place during a stay with the experienced entrepreneur, which helps the new entrepreneur to acquire the skills needed to run a small business. The receiving entrepreneur benefits from new business perspectives and has the opportunity to work with foreign partners and learn about new markets. This European exchange programme lasts one to six months and is financed by the European Union.
There is no specific legal framework for the cross-border mobility of young workers, trainees and entrepreneurs. Most of the legal framework targets the population in general.
However, a legal framework for cross-border mobility of young workers, trainees and entrepreneurs depends on the international juridical context. Flanders (and Belgium in general) have bilateral or multilateral agreements with other countries. The agreements allow Belgian social rights to be exported abroad. The social rights of young workers, trainees and young entrepreneurs who stay in the European Economic Area or Switzerland are determined by European legislation.