The Minister for Employment in the Walloon government, Pierre-Yves Jeholet, suggests reducing compulsory education to 16 years. This is one idea, amongst the avenues to modernise training for youngsters to attain full employment in Wallonia by 2025. He speaks of it in an interview granted to L’Echo, and published on Wednesday.
The Liberal Minister believes, “Although we wish to combat failure and numbers leaving school earlier, compulsory education for children must start from an earlier age than at present. However we must also reduce the maximum age for compulsory education to 16.” He goes on, “Why should we keep youngsters in a system until they are 18, when they perhaps want to learn a trade, but not within the education system? For an entire sector of the general public, only within business will we succeed in training them.”
He is also announcing a simplification of the Training-Integration Plan (TIP) system. The Walloon Minister advances, “It must rest upon the principle of trust. Time periods will be shorter for the training requests of businesses. From the current 30 days to respond to the business concerned, we will reduce the time to five days. There will be fewer over-particular daily checks by Forem to see if the training is going well.”
He also mentions regionalizing such training. “We should begin with technical and occupational learning. It should be the norm for the Walloon region, which has employment and training within its remit, to have technical and occupational learning also included. Naturally the region is prepared to take its responsibilities, but we would also like to stop simply being the ‘cash cow’ for the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.”