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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.4 Career guidance and counselling

Last update: 21 February 2024

Career guidance and counselling services

Regional employment agencies

Forem is the Walloon public service in charge of employment and training. It is the main tool for the implementation of employment and training policy in the Walloon Region. One of its main missions is to offer career guidance and counselling to every job seeker in Wallonia.

A job seeker must register at Forem in order to receive unemployment benefits. Forem provides counselling service to every job seeker but the public service focuses its actions to specific target groups:

  • People under 25 not in education, employment or training (NEETS)
  • Low qualified people under 25.

These specific profiles receive personal support directly after their registration. They must meet a counsellor once or twice a month until they find a training, an internship or a job. The method is to organise a personalised support in order to help every young job seeker separately with the appropriate solution. FOREM offers information and advice about training, measures aimed at promoting employment.

Funding linked to the Youth Guarantee Scheme enable Forem to:

  • reinforce and improve its structural actions with the youth public
  • develop specific projects.

These projects revolve around 5 parts:

  1. Jobs promotion (promotion des métiers)
  2. Personal support (accompagnement)
  3. Training (Formation)
  4. Internships (stages)
  5. Employment (Mise à l’emploi)


1. Jobs promotion (promotion des métiers)

A call for projects has been launched to organise specific “job days”. Several projects such as “kids days”, “jobs discovery days” or “visit a company” operated by associations and public services have been selected. The objectives of these days are to help children and youngsters to learn more about professions, work environment in a funny and concrete way.

The initiative “les métiers vont à l’école” (jobs are going to school) has been organised in schools of Hainaut (a Walloon province). The objective is to develop preventive support to facilitate the transition from school to work.

  1. Personal support (accompagnement)

2 kinds of support exist:

  • The personal support

The objective is to support young people from 18 to 25 individually, identify their needs regarding their professional profile and help them to find a job, a training or an internship. The intensity of the support depends of the youngster’s profile. If the youngster is highly qualified, the support is less intense. Forem works with professional counsellors. In order to organise this personal support, the use of social networks is important.

  • The “sponsorship”

The global action plan also organises a support methodology based on “sponsorship”. Young job seekers from 18 to 25 registered as job seekers in the Province of Hainaut and Liege can receive the support of a mentor. The latter guides and counsels the young job seeker about its career path once or twice a month. An external society has been charged of the project. The mentor can be any volunteer eager to help.

  1. Training (Formation)

This part aims to propose to every young people registered at Forem as job seeker a skills assessment and a training adapted to its needs. The training aims at developing key-competences such as calculating, reading, writing. This project is developed across Wallonia but more specifically in the Provinces of Hainaut and Liege.

This part offers also apprenticeships and professional training.

  1. Internships (Stages)

The objective here is to help young people to find an internship which will help them to access the labour market. Several measuresexist in order to facilitate the access to internships.

5. Employment (Mise à l’emploi)

The final objective is to increase the number of young people accessing the labour market. 

Generaly, Forem has developed a communication strategy targeting young people. Its aims to:

  •  promote Forem’s actions ;
  • increase the number of registrations as job seeker at Forem ;
  • motivate them to actively look for a job.

Forem uses communication tools such as flyers, promotion posters, a specific website for young people (, a strong presence on social networks, press papers in student’s magazines. 

Associations are also involved in counselling and guidance service

Apart from Forem and Actiris, many youth associations (Youth Information Centres) focus their activity on disseminating information about various themes including labour market, jobs, training for young people. For instance, SIEP is a youth association which meets young people in schools to inform them about professional training and higher education. 


Forem is a public service placed under the supervision of the Walloon Government represented by the Walloon Minister of Employment and Training. Forem is independent regarding its management. Forem operates with the regional allocations received by the Minister of Employment and Training as part of the total budget of the Region voted by the Walloon’s Parliament.

Forem concludes every 5 years an agreement with the Ministry of Employment and Training. It defines the rules and conditions on which Forem realises its missions. Teh current agreement covers the period 2011-2016. The yearly Forem’s budget remains steady every year for the government’s term (5 years).

Actiris is a public service placed under the supervision of the Brussels Government represented by the Brussels Minister of Employment and Economy. Actiris is independent regarding its management. The Agency signs an agreement with the Brussels Government. The current one is for the period 2013-2017. This contract plans the missions and objectives for the period covered. It receives allocations from the Government to implement its missions. 


Quality assurance

Employment public services, Forem or Actiris, are bound to an agreement signed with the Walloon or Brussels Government. This agreement sets out the rules and conditions on which Forem or Actiris realise its missions and set out obligations of both parties.

Employment public services (Forem or Actiris) realise statistical studies to monitor and ensure the quality of their services.