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    Individual vocational training programme (IBO) for job seekers

    The individual vocational training programme (Individuele BeroepsOpleiding or IBO) is a training measure making hiring of job seekers more attractive for employers. Job seekers lacking experience or skills can work for an employer by means of an IBO contract. This means they will get an on-the-job vocational training of 1 to 6 months.

    The individual vocational training programme is a win-win for the employee and the employer.

    The employee

    • can start working in a company, even without experience
    • receives benefits as well as an IBO bonus
    • learns all the ins and outs of the profession
    • gets a contract of limited or unlimited duration if they successfully finish the IBO.

    The employer

    • can train an employee in his own workplace
    • gets support from the VDAB for this guidance
    • has limited administrative duties
    • avoids a lot of salary costs during the training programme
    • has a solution for unfilled vacancies.


    The employee

    • is registered as an unemployed job seeker with VDAB
    • did not resign from his former job in order to start an IBO
    • has not yet worked for the company in which he/she wants to start an IBO (except as a student or a short period as an interim worker).


    The IBO is written down in a contract signed by the 3 parties:

    • the trainee
    • the company
    • VDAB.

    A training programme plan shall be attached to the agreement. The plan shows which skills will be developed during the IBO and explains how the trainee will be guided by the company and VDAB.


    If you want to work with an IBO contract, state this in your resume and explain that you are entitled to an IBO.

    Employees and employers from the Brussels-Capital Region can also benefit from an IBO, if the programme is offered in Dutch. If this is not the case, you should contact Actiris.


    As an employer, you can:

    • find a candidate on your own
    • ask VDAB to find one for you. If you add a new vacancy in Mijn VDAB, mention that you are open to IBOs.

    Once you find a candidate, you can apply for the IBO through Mijn VDAB or in your local VDAB office.

    During the programme, the worker is not entitled to any holiday bonus, end-of-year bonus or guaranteed income in case of illness: the training programme period is considered to be a period of unemployment.



    During the training your unemployment benefits are supplemented with a productivity bonus paid by VDAB, which brings your pay to an amount similar to the usual pay for the profession. The amount of this bonus depends on your unemployment benefits and on the salary you will receive if the employer hires you at the end of the programme.


    During the IBO, the employer does not pay any salary or social taxes. The employer only has to pay a fixed amount to VDAB. The amount depends on the employee’s salary if you hire him/her after the training programme.


    VDAB (Flemish Service for Employment and Vocational Training)

    Keizerslaan 11
    1000 Brussels

    Tel. (from Belgium): 0800 30 700 (freephone)
    Tel. (from abroad): +32 2 508 38 11

    Website VDAB