Skills credentials have existed in Belgium since 2005; any person over the age of 18 who has experience, but no corresponding diploma, can have it officially recognised free of charge. Over 28 000 credentials have already been issued in 47 approved centres in Wallonia and Brussels, in 39 occupations.
In October 2015, numerous social partners in Mons (Walloon Region) met, in the presence of the employment minister, and set up skills validation standards for a company tutor, a worker who is allocated to training, support and integration of new employees into professional settings.
Education and professional training operators quickly followed the trend by requesting that ten of their centres be authorised to become skills validation centres approved for this purpose in 2016. One of the first candidates, an HR assistant and expert tutor at Cemôme (), is to receive her skills credentials. She passed a skills validation test for the position of tutor at the Centre IFAPME Mons-Borinage-Centre. She undertook this to add another string to her bow and to ensure her professional future.
Along with the new skills validation system for tutors, new premiums were introduced in Wallonia in September 2016. Businesses hosting a young person and assigning to him a tutor who is trained or has had his skills validated are granted a premium. The ‘tutor’ skills validation credentials will grant entitlement to a regional premium from financial incentives for work/study training.
A glance at the ‘age pyramids’ section of the FPS economy site (Statistics Belgium) highlights population ageing and its consequences for the characteristics of the active population. The need for forward-looking management of jobs and skills that allows anticipation of needs to guarantee the continuity of business activities should be emphasised. What better system for achieving this than tutoring that capitalises on the acquired knowledge of an experienced worker to benefit a new employee?