Actiris IOD: Helping low-skilled long-term unemployed people find stable jobs

Updated: Mar 5

In the Brussels region, there are close to 60,000 long-term unemployed people. Long-term unemployment can have devastating effects for the individuals concerned – causing persistent poverty and reducing self-esteem - and for society as a whole. The longer people are out of work, the more their skills and social networks tend to erode, sending them into a downward spiral that makes it ever harder to find a new job. In fact, the Brussels Employment Observatory notes that the probability of finding a job within a year among the long-term (over 24 months) & low-skilled unemployed population is only 14%.

In 2017, after a successful experience working together on the DUO for a JOB Social Impact Bond on unemployment among young migrants, the Brussels employment agency Actiris selected KOIS to investigate the feasibility of another Social Impact Bond, this time to benefit the long-term unemployed.

Terms of the bond

  • Status: Launched in 2018

  • Country: Belgium

  • Target population: long-term unemployed people in Brussels

  • Target number of beneficiaries: 322

  • Selected impact metrics: re-employment rate (90+ working days within one year after the intervention)

  • Duration: 5 years

  • Amount: €2.2M

  • Expected return: up to 7.5% IRR

  • Outcome funders: Actiris, the Brussels Employment Office

  • Investors: HNWI and Foundations

  • Service provider: IOD

The service provider

KOIS identified together with Actiris an innovative approach that was being implemented in the municipality of Forest: the IOD (Intervention sur les Offres et les Demandes, Intervention on Supply & Demand) methodology. The IOD method was developed in Bordeaux, France, 20 years ago. It is unique because it requires proactively engaging with SMEs companies to help create new job opportunities, and acts on specific pain points of professional exclusion such as discriminatory recruitment methods and the surge of short-term and part-time contracts.

The pilot for Brussels was started in July 2015 by the ‘Mission Locale pour l’Emploi’ of the borough of Forest with a four-people team whose results have been remarkable: 47% of the enrolled participants have signed a long-term employment contract. Most of these positions would not have existed were it not for the IOD team’s active engagement with the employing companies.

In 2018, KOIS launched what is now Belgium’s second social impact bond, allowing Actiris to scale up the IOD programme by adding two teams and covering the whole of Brussels. This will help more individuals within the Brussels Capital Region to re-enter the labour market, breaking the cycle of unemployment and discouragement, paving the way for a sustainable and more effective solution to what has so far been perceived as an unsolvable problem.

The expected impact

The SIB will run for 5 years, between 2018 & 2022. During this time, the investor money will be put towards the goals of the bond. If the objectives are met, investors will be rewarded for their investment with a return of up to 7.5%. The expected impact of the SIB within 5 years is:

  • 750 beneficiaries by the end of the SIB

  • 510 job contracts signed for a period of at least 90 working days (69% success rate vs. 19% for the control group)

  • Broad roll-out of the method thanks to proof of success via the SIB

“By banning CVs and by helping small enterprises define their recruitment needs, the IOD method precludes discrimination and helps grow the jobs market. Its results fly in the face of those who take for granted the end of the job market for unskilled workers.”

Béatrice Delperdange, Head of Business Development KOIS, Brussels

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