Facilitating cross-border mobility within the scope of dual education in the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai

The European grouping of territorial cooperation “Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai”, in collaboration with the French partners Hauts-de-France Region and the Flemish Region / the Flemish Community and the Belgian stakeholders Walloon Region and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, developed a Pilot Action to set up cross-border apprenticeship in the framework of the pilot initiative b-solutions.

The project designed by the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai tackles the lack of harmonisation in the field of education between France and Belgium, which prevent cross-border apprenticeships to be carried out.

The proposed solution to overcome the cross-border obstacles included a detailed diagnosis of the hindrance. This is meant to shed light on the possibility to draw up a framework agreement for all competent authorities of the territory to allow for the mobility of people doing an apprenticeship. Secondly, in order to test the cooperation formula resulting from the diagnosis, the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai intends to implement a field experiment, allowing some apprentices to perform trainings on both sides of the border.

 

A two-stages pilot project:

A relevant step towards the achievement of the final objective was the production of a detailed diagnosis of the legal obstacles hindering cross-border apprenticeships. This helped identify an appropriate solution for each problem by means of a derogation or a system of equivalence. Eventually, this first stage will also lead to a framework agreement project feasible for all competent authorities of the cross-border territory.

To do so, a comparative legal-administrative study of the legislations applicable in the three regions of the Eurometropolis has been carried out during the implementation period of b-solutions. The outcome can be viewed in the attachment.

In the next months, a small-scale field experiment will be implemented on the basis of the comparative analysis. In order to assess the cooperation formula resulting from the diagnosis, the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai will test the cross-border apprenticeship contracts, allowing 9 to 12 French, Walloon and Flemish selected apprentices/learners to perform their apprenticeship on both sides of the border:  the theoretical part (in whole or in part) in a training centre at the place of residence of the apprentice, the practical part at a company established in another subregion of the Eurometropolis.

The field experiment on dual-education will be implemented within the Interreg framework, taking place starting from September 2020.