In July 2017 a graduation ceremony was organised by Bruxelles Formation (public adult training provider in the Brussels Region) and 78 trainees were given their credentials, as official recognition of skills acquired through successfully completed training. More than 700 trainees are hosted every year in largely practical training schemes of two to eight months.

Bf. bureau & service, the training centre of Bruxelles Formation, in cooperation with its partners ([1]), organises training programmes leading to qualification in office automation, accounting and call centres. It provides a response to bottleneck occupations through its vocational training supply for legal secretaries, trilingual management assistants, accounting officers and accounting assistants.

The Director General of Bruxelles Formation has stressed the value: ‘In an ever-more demanding market when it comes to qualifications, vocational training is one of the keys for job seekers in Brussels to land employment’. To this end, bf.bureau & services provides training programmes that are in line with the working environment as ‘Dutch and English are included in our training programmes to meet the needs of the Region.’ Graduates confirm the relevance of the provided training for the labour market:

Fatoumata one of the certified trainees, who received her administrative employee’s credential, was elated: ‘I applied to a number of companies on Tuesday, and I already have two interviews lined up for next week.’

Sumaya, who attended the commercial administrative employee training programme, said: ‘I came to Bruxelles Formation with nothing, and am leaving with enormous skills. And I am proud to tell you that today I signed a contract with the Public Social Welfare Agency (CPAS) of the Schaerbeek municipality.’

As recommended in the Brussels Region 2020 training plan, jobseeker skills are certified to aid access to employment. The education minister explained the aim: ‘In addition to training, we also want to develop certification through the creation of an umbrella skills validation centre for jobs in the tertiary sector.’ By stimulating the skills validation system, which recognises skills acquired through experience, the Region plans to promote occupational integration and official recognition of the qualifications of people who did not earn diplomas through conventional channels. The Government of the Brussels Region ultimately aspires to confer 2000 validation of skills credentials yearly by 2025.

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([1]) Among the partners are:
- the Flemish public service for employment and vocational training (VDAB Brussel),
- the private sectorial training centre for employees (CEFORA)
- the Free University of Brussels (ULB)
- the French-speaking adult education provider EPFC within the Brussels Centre for the Validation of Clerical Jobs that organises the validation of skills for administrative employees.