3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities
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The International Youth Office (BIJ) is the main public service charged by decree to coordinate youth mobility. The Agency helps young people to fund their project abroad. Among all the programmes offered by the BIJ, some of them give the opportunity to young people to train and gain professional or entrepreneurial experience abroad:
- “Quebec curriculum” programme supports young people from 16 to 35 to realise a professional project in Quebec, Canada.
- Artichok programme supports young professional artists with their foreign project (e.g: participation to a foreign festival, a contest abroad, etc.).
- Entrechok programme aims at giving the opportunity to young entrepreneurs between 20 and 35 to realise an international mission in order to develop their entrepreneurial project (e.g: participation to business fair abroad, participation to specific training which do not exist in Wallonia or Brussels, etc.).
- Tremplin Job is a programme which enables young people to undertake a traineeship abroad. Tremplin + addresses young employees who want to change their career, discover a new professional activity.
- Eurodyssée is a programme created by the Assembly of European Regions. It offers to young graduated aged between 18 and 30 years old the possibility to undertake a traineeship in Europe. The BIJ is in charge of the Walloon part of the programme. Actiris, the Brussels Employment Public Service, is responsible for young people living in Brussels.
Forem, the Walloon Employment Public Service, offers foreign programmes to young people as well.
- Forem organises and funds traineeships in foreign countries for young job seekers:
- in emerging countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China )
- in Malta, Netherlands, Ireland.
- Explort is a training and traineeship programme in the field of international trade developed in partnership with the skills centre “Forem Training Management & Trade” and AWEX (Walloon Agency of Exportation and Foreign Investments). The programme consists of a training of 1 or 2 months and a traineeship in a foreign enterprise from 2 weeks to 3 months.
Actiris International is the international placement service of the Brussels Employment Public Service, Actiris. Its main mission is to help young job seekers from Brussels to obtain a position or a traineeship abroad.
There is no legal framework regarding specifically incoming and outgoing young workers, trainees/apprentices and young professionals/entrepreneurs.
According to the International Youth Office, some obstacles to youth mobility regarding legislation exist.
- Young people receiving unemployment benefits are not allowed to keep them if they choose to undertake a traineeship abroad.
- Young people graduating after the age of 25 years old are not allowed to receive unemployment benefits (see section 3.11 current debates and reforms). They must require financial support to “Public Centre of Social Action”. People depending of this public social service must stay on the Belgian territory to receive the “Social Integration Income”. This is an obstacle to mobility for young job seekers as it prevents young job seekers from gaining professional experience abroad.