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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 6 October 2020


Youth employment lies within the general employment policy.

The Regions and the Federal Entity are both competent for employment policy. These authorities have different responsibilities regarding this field:

  • The Federal Government is in charge of labour laws, social security and the unemployment compensation. Federal level is also responsible for supervising the social dialogue. This institutional system gathers social partners (employers, employees and federal government) in order to negociate “work conventions” in all activity sectors. They negotiate work conditions, salaries, etc. Social dialogue has an important place in the Belgian work system.
  • The Regions are responsible for measures aimed at supporting employment of target groups, training, lifelong learning and local agencies for employment.

Therefore, there are 3 Ministers of Employment at the executive French-Speaking Community level:

  • The Federal Minister of Employment and Economy
  • The Regional Minister of Employment for the Walloon Region
  • The Regional Minister of Employment for the Brussels-Capital Region.

Entrepreneurship lies within the portfolio of the Regional Minister of Economy. There are 2 Ministers responsible for specific entrepreneurship measures aimed at young people: one for the Walloon Region and one for the Brussels-Capital Region. 

There are 3 Ministers of Employment at the executive French-Speaking Community level: 
•    The Federal Minister of Employment and Economy
•    The Regional Minister of Employment for the Walloon Region
•    The Regional Minister of Employment for the Brussels-Capital Region. 

Federal level

The main authority responsible for employment at the Federal level is the Minister of Employment and Economy.

The “Federal Public Service, Employment, Work and Social Dialogue” implements the federal employment policy. According to the administration contract 2016-2018 of the Service, the latter is responsible for the labour relations between employers and employees. It ensures the protection of workers and promotes well-being at work.  It participates to the development of social legislation. The service is in charge of social security, evaluation of employment policy and unemployment regulation. 

The “National Office for Employment” (Office National de l’Emploi) is the public body for social security which manages the unemployment part of employee’s social security according to the administration contract 2016-2018 between the Federal State and the Office.

Regional level – Walloon Region

The main authority responsible for employment in the Walloon Region is the Minister for Employment and Training. The General Political Note of the Walloon Minister of Employment and training presents the 3 employment Walloon administrations. They implement the employment policy of the Minister and are under its responsibility:

  • Direction of employment and work permits (Direction de l’Emploi et des permis de travail) has for mission to contribute to the implementation of the Walloon employment policy.
  • Forem is the Walloon Employment Agency, a public service in charge of employment and vocational training. Forem provides guidance and counselling service on career development and on job search with job seekers. It offers as well training in order to foster the integration of job seekers in the labour market. It implements measures aimed at supporting employment. Forem is also charged of the Youth Guarantee Scheme. The Forem focuses some of its actions on young people, especially those without any diploma. The decree of 6 may 1999 related to the Walloon Office for vocational training and employment institutes the Forem. 
  •  Walloon Institute for Apprenticeship and Self-employed workers, small and medium Enterprises (Institut wallon de formation en alternance et des indépendants et petites et moyennes enterprises - IFAPME) provides training programmes such as apprenticeships or lifelong training programme. IFAPME coordinates a network of training centres located across the territory working at local level. Its missions are defined in the IFAPME's management contract 2012-2017.     

Entrepreneurship lies within the portfolio of the Regional Minister of Economy. The “Agency for Enterprise and Innovation” is a public service which supports creation and development of enterprises, the innovation and the development of new economic activities.

The “Walloon Institute for evaluation, prospective and statistics” (Institut Wallon de l'évaluation, la prospective et la statistique - IWEPS) is a scientific public service aimed at supporting decision making including in the field of employment. The Observatory provides policy makers and citizens with statistical information, analyses and studies in the field of social, economic, political and environmental sciences. It takes an active part in the promotion and the implementation of an evaluation and forecasting process in Wallonia. The decree of 4 December 2003 related to the creation of the Walloon Institute for evaluation, prospective and statistics defines the missions of the Institute. 

Regional level – Brussels-Capital Region

The main authority responsible for employment in the Region Brussels-Capital is the Minister of Employment and Economy.

  • The mission of the “Brussels Public Service of Employment and Economy” is to develop and to support sustainable economy and employment in the Region of Brussels.
  • Actiris is the Brussels Employment Agency, a public service responsible for the implementation of the employment policy in the Region Brussels-Capital. The Agency provides job seekers and employers with support in order to meet supply and demand in labour market. The Actiris management contract 2017-2022 provides information on the Agency’s objectives and missions.  
  • Training Brussels (Bruxelles Formation) is the Brussels public service in charge of professional training for french-speaking job seekers and workers living in Brussels.
  • Impulse Brussels is the public service in charge of supporting entrepreneurship. According to its management contract 2012-2017, the Agency offers support to entrepreneurs in order to help them creating their own enterprise, launching their entrepreneurial project. 
  • “Training Service Small and Medium Enterprises” (Service Formation Petites et Moyennes Entreprises) is a Service of the French Community Commission of Brussels. It provides training programmes such as apprenticeships or lifelong training programme. Its missions are mainly defined in the cooperation Agreement of 20 February 1995 related to the continuing training for middle classes and small and medium enterprises. 
  • The Brussels Institute of Statistics and Analysis (Institut Bruxellois de Statistiques et d’Analyse - IBSA) is the equivalent of IWEPS but for the Brussels Region.

Cross-sectorial cooperation

Cooperation between the French-Speaking Community and the Walloon Region

The International Youth Office (Bureau International de la Jeunesse) is a one-stop service for young people interested in a project abroad. It offers programmes to support youngsters living in Brussels or Wallonia aged between 13 and 35 years old to work, volunteer or launch an entrepreneurial project abroad. This is a French-Speaking Community’s service created and co-managed since 1995 by the General Administration for Culture (French-Speaking Community) and Wallonia Brussels International (Walloon Region).