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Guidance in Belgium (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) – Introduction

Belgium is a Federal State composed of Communities and Regions. Employment is a regional competence, education and training a community competence. The complexity of the institutional structures in Belgium makes that a part of the guidance system (related to employment) depends of the Regions and the other part (related to education and training) depends of the Communities.

Several organizations provide guidance support in the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles (the French Community composed of Wallonia and Brussels). Some of them propose guidance in the education system and others in vocational training. Guidance in the education system aims at targeting pupils in secondary school, students in upper secondary schools, further education, parents and teachers. It is mainly managed by the CPMS (Centre Psycho Medico Sociaux).The target group of vocational guidance is adult workers and /or job seekers. The SIEP (Service d’Information sur les Etudes et les Professions) also offers personalized guidance for young people and adults.

Several other organizations offer vocational guidance. These are the CIO, Infor jeunes, le SIEP, le Laboratoire d’Ergologie de Belgique, les Missions Locales, some OISP’s (Organismes d’insertion socio-professionnel), the CEFO’s (Carrefour Emploi Formation Orientation).

In addition to these services some others are directly linked to the Universities. These are for example the Service AIDE of the UCL, the service PsyCampus of the ULB, the Service d’Orientation Universitaire (SOU) of the ULG, the Service d’Orientation et d’Aide à la Réussite of the  Université de St. Louis, the Medico- psychological Centre of the Faculté Universitaire de Namur.Some organizations such as the SIEP and Stydyrama often organize guidance fairs and other events for young people in particular.

The professionals in Guidance act in different fields for various target groups: children, teenagers, workers or job seekers, adults, students. Depending of the field of action, these professionals have their own objectives and methodologies.

Guidance system presents diverse practices: information, documentation (general counselling), coaching, mentoring, face-to-face advice, training and education choices…

Depending on demand and the operator, guidance mission may be situated at several levels of education or vocational training and be practiced individually or collectively.

The guidance system at national level of the Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles (the French Community composed of Wallonia and Brussels) is not coordinated or harmonized by one and unique central structure. That means for the user that it is difficult to find efficiently the right information on the right moment. One of the aims of the Euroguidance Centre is to highlight these guidance services in order to help the right user to access to the right service.