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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.6 Integration of young people in the labour market

Last update: 21 February 2024

Youth employment measures

The employment public services, Forem and Actiris, implement a range of youth employment measures:

  1. Training-Integration Plan (Plan Formation Insertion)
  2. first employment convention (Convention premier emploi)
  3. Professional Integration Agreement (Convention d’immersion professionnelle)
  4. Starting bonus and traineeship bonus (Bonus de démarrage et bonus de stage)
  5. Impulsion 25 years old (Impulsion - de 25 ans)


Plan formation insertion (Training-Integration Plan)

This measure targets young job seekers and enterprises located on the Walloon territory. An enterprise concludes a contract with the employment public service Forem and the young job seeker. The plan is divided in 2 periods:

At first, the young job seeker gets a training period from 1 to 6 months in the enterprise and keeps its status as job seeker. He keeps receiving unemployment benefits, integration benefits and the enterprise pays a bonus exempted from social security contribution.

After that, the enterprise hires the youngster for at least the time of the training period.

The objective is to give the possibility to the enterprise to train a candidate to fit the professional profile needed while receiving financial advantages.

The same measure is implemented in the Brussels Region through Actiris: Formation Professionnelle Individuelle (Individual Professional Training).

 Convention premier emploi (first employment convention)

The “first employment convention” aims to help young people to access the labour market as soon as possible after leaving school. It compels some employers (private and public sector) to hire a certain percentage of young people.

 A “first employment convention” is a label which affects all young people under 26 years old who are bound to a regular work contract, a training contract or an internship convention.

Employers who hire young people can receive 3 financial advantages:

  • targeted reductions in employer’s social security contributions for young recruits under 19 years old ;
  • targeted reductions in employer’s social security contributions for young recruits under 26 years old with low qualifications (Measure Start) ;
  • a work allowance of 350 euros for young recruits with very low qualifications or low qualified foreigners (not EU nationality) or low qualified disabled youngsters. It is also called Activa Start measure. This work allowance is paid by the Employment National Office (ONEM) in charge of unemployment insurance. The employer can deduce this amount from the youngster’s net salary.

Convention d’immersion professionnelle (Professional Integration Agreement)

The “Professional Integration Agreement” is a traineeship convention concluded by the employer, the young recruit and the public service of employment. The aim is to favour the training of a young recruit. The “training plan” is the most important part of the agreement and it is concluded between the employer and the competent public service in charge of training.

This convention is not a regular work contract. Therefore, the employer doesn’t pay a salary to the young recruit. But the intern receives a compensation paid by the employer.

Bonus de démarrage et bonus de stage (starting bonus and traineeship bonus)

The “starting bonus” is a bonus addressing youngsters who start a practical training or gain professional experience while they are still attending school.

The starting bonus is granted for at most 3 years of training as part of a full training programme. The bonus amounts to 500 euros for the 2 first years and 750 euros for the third one.

The “traineeship bonus” is a bonus addressing employers who offer training or work to a young recruit who is still attending school. The conditions and amount of the bonus are the same as the starting bonus. 

Impulsion 25 years old (Impulsion - de 25 ans)

A young walloon job seeker aged under 25 may receive, under conditions, a work allocation for 3 years. It affects young people who don't have a degree. 

Flexicurity measures focusing on young people

There is no legal framework for flexicurity measures focusing on young people. 

Reconciliation of private and working life for young people

Youth holidays (vacances jeunes) are complementary holidays for young people. They are granted under conditions to young people who don’t have access yet to “paid holidays” because they just start the working life according to the Federal Service for employment, work and social dialogue (Service public fédéral pour l'emploi, le travail et le dialogue social). During the youth holiday’s period, they receive an allocation. The legal framework to refer to is the ministerial order of 14 June 2001 revising the ministerial order of 26 November 1991 on the unemployment regulation in the framework of youth holidays (arrêté ministériel du 14 juin 2001 modifiant l'arrêté ministériel du 26 novembre 1991 portant les modalités d'aplication de la règlementation du chômage dans le cadre des vacances jeunes) and the Royal Order of 25 November 1991. 

Funding of existing schemes/initiatives

Employment public service (Forem and Actiris) charged to implement employment measures receive a consolidated budget by the Walloon Government (Forem) or the Government of the Region of Brussels (Actiris).

Forem concludes every 5 years an agreement with the Ministry of Employment. It defines the rules and conditions on which the Forem realises its missions. The budget of the Forem remains steady every year for the government’s term (5 years).

Actiris concludes an agreement with the Brussels Government. The current agreement covers the period 2023-2027. It defines the missions and objectives of Actiris for the period covered. 

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 their missions.

The agreements also plans a “yearly evaluation report”. It is addressed to the Walloon or the Brussels Government respectively. 

Forem and Actiris also commit to provide information to their respective Government according to the Law of 16 March 1954 related to the monitoring of some public bodies.