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Exchange of good practices and learning network in Belgium

The sectorial training institute IFP (Institut de Formation Professionnelle), the food industry training institute (managed jointly by the sectorial social partners), has set up a learning network of social actors and companies involved in the training of workers.

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Industrial learning agreement in Belgium

Several sectors of activity in Belgium already have a system in place for the 15/25 years old jobseekers that combines learning with working. This is the case for the food industry. The programme is co-managed by the trade unions and employers’ organizations: they have set up an “apprenticeship Committee” that identifies learning and employment priorities, in cooperation with professional / technical schools. The social partners are the ones who can deliver homologation to companies who wish to hire apprentices. The programme allows people to learn on-the job during one or two years. They go to school two days a week, and work in a company three days a week. They get paid a salary for the days they work. The salary is of 50% of the minimum hourly wage and bonuses and/or incentives to promote motivation and presence at work.

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Introduction of extra days of paid leave for older workers in the Belgian food industry

The previous government in power in Belgium changed the conditions for early retirement. Because of this, many workers close to retirement age are obligated to work longer than expected. The current government has decided to make the conditions even stricter and have increased the retirement age from 65 to 67 years. Hence, the social partners have decided to provide better conditions for workers with seniority. The objective is both preventive and a compensatory. In the recent negotiations, the social partners have renegotiated the conditions for extra days of leave.

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