Good Practice: Collaboration and Mainstreaming

Building a corporate collaboration between the public unemployment office VDAB  and  GTB to promote the employment rate of people with disabilities: a good example of mainstreaming

Organisation  GTB vzw (specialized counselling for people with job difficulties due to a disability) 
Country Belgium
Short description The programme aims at building a corporate collaboration between mainstream and specialized employment services in supporting people with a disability to work. The guidance to employment for persons with disabilities is totally embedded in the regular services VDAB. The leading principle is 'as regular as possible, as specialized as necessary'.
In every mainstream office of the public employment service, there are specialized coaches from GTB included in the service. If a person with a disability has a question or is in need of service, he or she goes to the mainstream job-office and is served equally. 
Target group The nature of the restriction or disability is not a excluding criterion. If the customer does not get enough support from the personal services of VDAB, GTB can offer the guidance but within the same premises and file flow as VDAB. It is very important that the service is provided in a general way and not specified per disability. 
Underlying theories Methodical guidelines: client-orientated and empowering

• Recovery
• Personal action planning
• Solution focused approach
• Quality of life
• Bio-medical –psycho -social model (ICF)
Family members
The strengthening of the personal network is an advanced module within the GTB offering. It involves a combination of group-based training and personal individual support. This module is not a standard offering (it is only applicable if the costumer is specifically asking for it).

Community partners
VDAB writes tender assignments, with GTB as a partner in order to finance regular care and empowering service providers so that they open up their demand for our target group. GTB can use all the regular offerings from the VDAB and their partners.
This way, GTB is the central actor in the network of schools and health services for the guidance of persons with a disability in their professional career.
GTB organizes every year a DUOday (job shadow-day) where more than 500 employers open their doors for one day for a person with a disability to get a taste of the job. It is an opportunity for employers to get to know the target group and their abilities and it is also a great opportunity for all the coaches to establish contacts with employers. This day is open for different partners and for the VDAB.
Direct impact 
  • Promoting the employment rate of people with a work disability.
  • Service to persons with a disability is done from the same local job centers as other jobseekers.
  • Service flow is the same as 'normal' job seekers, only the intensity is greater and more personalized.
Conclusions and results
32 000 clients with a disability are now registered with VDAB. About 80% of them is guided and served by the mainstream public employment service, about 80% by the specialized partner GTB.
Among them, approximately 1200 customers who have an allowance from the INAMI health service ask for job counseling to VDAB or GTB each year. About 600 are students from specialised education facilities are also guided in their transition to work.
The customer is at the steering wheel of his route to work so that the intrinsic motivation is enhanced. Due to the undertaken community-based approach, more people with disabilities gain a successful job. 
Duration The program was initiated in 2008.
Contact/More information Luc Henau:

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