For three years now, we have had a system of career vouchers in Belgium. Every six years, each active employee has the option to seek the assistance of a professional career center to assist them in their career. This system is purely a choice of the employee. The employer may, but doesn’t need to be, informed of this decision by his or her employee.

The government has introduced a unique system of career vouchers by which the employee is able to utilize eight hours of individual career coaching in a recognized career center. The contribution of the employer is limited to only 80 euros, the remaining 1,100 euros is paid by the government.

The purpose of these vouchers is to concretely and efficiently help people who have questions about their professional careers. Because of demographic reasons, Belgium will have to deal with the fact that the coming decades a large part of the population retires, while there’s only a small inflow of younger workers into the labor market. Within this context, the government will take all kinds of mandatory and non-binding initiatives to make employees work longer and thus keep our social security system affordable. The career voucher system allows the government to ensure that employees are not only more active in the labor market but that they also stay motivated to reflect and work on their professional future on a regular basis themselves.

Employees with career vouchers can contact Ucare. Since the start of this project, we’ve been the absolute market leader in Belgium in assisting employees in their career through this system. Every day our specialized career coaches help hundreds of employees who have questions about their current or future job.

Even today, employers don’t often like that their employees opt for external career coaching. Usually they fear that their employees would discover that their professional future lies elsewhere and that they would leave the organization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only 20% of the participants in career coaching are looking for a professional solution outside their current organization. 80% of employees wish to remain active with their current employer and are just looking for another implementation, another challenge within their company.

We also note that the latest generation of employees wish to have a good work-life balance and that a daily successful collaboration between four different generations (20-65 years old) of employees provides plenty of challenges in the workplace.