Country: Belgium (Flanders)
Economic Sectors: Tourism
Theme: Delivery of WBL, Governance and Management
Educational field and level: Vocational and educational training
Target groups: Social Partners, Professional or Sectoral Bodies, Teachers and Trainers (Education and Training), Trainers and Mentors in the Workplace
The apprenticeship scheme in the Hotel and Catering Industry in Belgium (Flanders) provides training for young learners at risk of dropping out education.
The scheme targets learners who, for one reason or another, are not well suited to learning delivery within full-time vocational schools and provides an alternative pathway for them to complete their education, with a particular focus on work-based learning and on learner transition to the workplace.
The scheme is based on the system of dual education for which learners attend a centre for vocational secondary education for two days a week and undertake practical training at the workplace for the remaining three days. Provision is based on a contractual relationship, signed by the employer, with individual learners also being paid. The length of the programme can differ, depending on the learner and the targeted profession, and can last from 12 to 48 months. Learners gain practical skills and experience relating to a specific occupation or profession. Employers equally value the scheme as it allows them access to future apprentices and employees, with subsidies also available to participating companies. Those companies opting to take part in the scheme must sign up to the basic principles of learning provision as well as ensuring that all workplace mentors take part in preparatory training. The scheme is managed by Horeca Vorming Vlaanderen, on behalf of the hotel and catering sector, with specific responsibility for cooperation and collaboration between enterprises and training providers as well as for learning assessment within the workplace
Success factors and challenges for WBL
One of the main success factors is that of assuring close collaboration among individual learners and their parents, as well as the participating schools, companies and mentors. This is the role of Horeca Vorming Vlaanderen and it has already proven successful with a high level of engagement from companies and with an increasing number of apprenticeship places provided. Horeca Vorming Vlaanderen is also responsible for the quality of the scheme and, in addition to providing assessment, provides preparatory training for mentors as well as overall scheme evaluation. Another positive factor is the flexibility of the scheme, with a diverse range of occupations and professions addressed as well as significant variety in the length of the targeted training, thus enabling fast transition to the labour market. With the scheme tackling often disaffected young adults, dropout remains a challenge.
Website of Horeca Vorming Vlaanderen: http://www.horecavorming.be/
Presentation by Horeca (n.d.): Work Based Learning in Hotels, Restaurants & Catering Case: Apprenticeship in the Hospitality Industry in Flanders. http://www.ekip.kujawsko-pomorskie.pl/pliki/horecca.pdf
General report on VET in Belgium (includes a description of the apprenticeship scheme): Isabelle, Allinckx; Dominioni Leopoldina, Caccia (2013): VET in Europe- Country Report Belgium. https://cumulus.cedefop.europa.eu/files/vetelib/2013/2013_CR_BE.pdf