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On 28 October 2022, the Flemish Government finally approved a decree to simplify the tools of workplace learning in Flanders. The work experience internship will be used more broadly from 1 January 2023, and the activation internship and the specialized vocational exploration internship will disappear. Below we discuss the (renewed) tool of the work experience internship.
So far the work experience internship has only been used in the temporary work experience pathways, so the target group was rather limited. From 1 January 2023, the VDAB (or a partner organization) will also admit job seekers outside these pathways.
The definition of the work experience internship is being rewritten: where the purpose of the work experience internship was previously to build generic competencies as an employee, the internship is now defined as follows: An internship for a non-working job seeker as part of a pathway to paid employment. During the work experience internship, the intern performs actions on a real workplace and the focus is not primarily on technical competence enhancement.
The work experience internship is a tripartite agreement between employer, employee and VDAB. A training plan shall be attached to the agreement. The VDAB decides on the start-up and duration of the work experience internship. The duration can never exceed 6 months.
Until 31 December 2022, the weekly duration of the work experience internship shall be at least 20 hours per week. However, this condition will be abolished as of 1 January 2023.
The job seeker taking a work experience internship is entitled to a monthly allowance of 200 euros gross paid by the VDAB. This allowance is reduced pro rata if the work experience internship is less than 20 hours per week.
The VDAB shall insure the intern against work accidents. The VDAB shall also submit the Dimona (STG) for the intern.
The employer with whom the internship is started, shall be responsible for supporting the job seeker in the workplace.
Considering that during the performance of the work experience internship the intern is only liable for cheating, gross misconduct or repeated minor errors, the employer shall also take out civil liability insurance for the intern.
These provisions have not yet been published in the Belgian Official Gazette.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the website of the Flemish Government.
For a detailed overview of internships in Belgium, please see our publication “Stageovereenkomsten in België” published earlier this year (available only in Dutch and French).
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