Sandwich training is a type of apprenticeship that combines periods of general and professional training in a school or approved training centre with periods of practical placement in a company.
It allows apprentices to train, acquire experience and skills that are connected to the labour market, obtain an official, recognised qualification and receive a wage.
It directly corresponds to the skills required by companies. The employer can train a young person in line with their needs.
Sandwich training is recognised as a device that facilitates access to the labour market.
The sandwich-training pathway is organised by creating a partnership between an approved training operator, an apprentice and a company.
Note that sandwich-training contracts that entered into force before 1 September 2016 continue to benefit from the old system (placement bonuses and starting bonuses) until the end of the training process.
A unique interactive platform has been established. This platform will eventually allow those the various stakeholders involved in sandwich training to:
- inform, raise awareness about and promote sandwich training
- centralise company approvals
- monitor sandwich training using reliable statistics
- simplify user processes
- manage and pay financial incentives
Service public de Wallonie grants sandwich-training assistance:
From 1 September 2016, the new measures include:
A "self-employed individual" incentive (P1)
This incentive aims to partially compensate for the administrative costs linked to compliance with social law regulations (e.g. affiliation to a social secretariat, insurance, medical examination, etc.) The self-employed individual, who has no employees and who trains an apprentice under a sandwich-training contract, may receive €750. The self-employed individual may only receive this incentive once; during the conclusion of the first sandwich-training contract with a young person. This bonus is payable at the time of submission of the application and after verification of the eligibility criteria.
This aims to strengthen the supervision of the apprentice, within the company, by an approved trainer, particularly during their first year of sandwich training. The company receives €750 when the apprentice successfully completes their first year of training. The company that is hosting a young person as part of a sandwich-training course must be approved by the training operator (CEFA or IFAPME) beforehand. This company must have an establishment in Wallonia and have, within its team, one approved trainer (to be approved, the trainer must have taken training, or have a “trainer” qualification based on their years of experience). The young person must have been subject to a sandwich-training contract for at least 270 days (9 months). This bonus is payable when the following cumulative criteria have been satisfied:
- The apprentice has completed 270 days at the company;
- The apprentice has passed at level B;
- The trainer has completed the training.
An incentive for apprentices (P3) The objective is to motivate the young person to complete their training and obtain their certification (at least a qualification certificate, an apprenticeship certificate, a specific qualification certificate or any equivalent qualification or certificate). To this end, the young person receives €750 when they pass their final year. This replaces the starting bonus. This bonus is payable as soon as the young person is certified (specific CQ, CQ6, CQ7, CESS (subject to certain conditions) and IFAPME equivalent).
A subsidy for sandwich-training operators (P4)
Sandwich-training operators (CEFA and IFAPME) can receive subsidies that are intended to strengthen the supervision of learners in companies and training centres. These subsidies partially cover staffing and operating costs. These are not dependent on the success of the young person, but the young person must have been subject to a sandwich-training contract for a cumulative 270 days. These subsidies amount to €1,000 per apprentice. This bonus is payable as soon as the young person has been supervised for one academic year (1 September – 31 August) and after validation of the OFFA.
The granting of financial incentives is managed by theOFFA. To apply for the bonus, the applicant must log in to their Walloon personal area via eID. If it is the first time they have visited the personal area, an account must be created. Once logged in, the applicant can complete the form. Once validated, said form will be automatically added to the platform.
The SPWEER manages the payment of financial incentives to self-employed individuals, companies, apprentices and training operators. This takes place after validation by theOFFA and receipt of the applications on the OPLA platform.
What appeal options are available?
There is an appeals committee within theOFFA. It can make or propose decisions at various stages of the approval process:
- It organises mediation when the company contests the decision to withdraw, suspend or refuse approval.
- It organises mediation with the operator for any matters relating to the execution of the contract.
- It makes a decision when there is a difference of opinion between the operator and the coach.
- It proposes a decision to the CA of theOFFA following a request from a company (see 1)
- It proposes a decision to the CA of theOFFA following a request from an apprentice (for all non-educational matters)
Appeals against the payment process are submitted to the Wallonia Ombudsman.
This training pathway is open to young people aged between 15 and 25, who have completed the first level of secondary education.
In order to benefit from the financial incentive, the practical training must take place in Wallonia, excluding the territory of the German-speaking community.
- Framework cooperation agreement of 24 October 2008 concerning sandwich training
- Decree of 20 July 2016 concerning financial incentives granted to partner sandwich-training companies, apprentices undetaking sandwich training and sector coaches
- Decree of 20 October 2016 concerning the execution of the Decree of 20 July 2016
- Decree from the Walloon Government of 8 June 2017 denouncing the cooperation agreement concerning the organisation of a qualifying-training pathway
- Decree from the Walloon Government of 8 June 2017 regarding the execution of the framework cooperation agreement concerning sandwich training
- Ministerial Decree of 22 November 2018 concerning the execution of Article 6 of the Decree from the Walloon Government of 8 June 2017 denouncing the cooperation agreement concerning the organisation of a qualifying-training pathway, which was concluded in Namur on 18 June 1998, between the Government of the French Community and the Walloon Government and which pertains to the granting of subsidies to sandwich-training operators.
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