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FOREM was created by a Walloon Regional Council decree on December 16, 1988 which gave it the status of a Class B regional public-interest organization. FOREM enjoys self-management, which in its case is handled by a management committee.

FOREM has 150 offices throughout Wallonia, a budget of 10 billion Belgian francs and 3,200 agents, making it the largest Walloon pararegional organization.

Following the June 1999 legislative elections, the new Walloon government launched a program called "A Contract for Wallonia's Future." In it, political authorities confirmed their intention of modernizing and improving the performance of public services.

On April 17, 2001, Marie Arena, Walloon Minister of Employment and Training, signed the new 2001-05 management contract that called for FOREM to reorganize by clearly separating activities that by nature would continue to depend on the public service from those that henceforth would be open to competition. The new FOREM was organized into three divisions, each with its own function:

  • A director-coordinator function that mainly involved implementing the employment policies emanating from the government. This is the level that handles the tasks of coordinating agents, information, and user and employer orientation;
  • A public training provider function that offered free services for job-seekers, workers and firms active in occupational training;
  • A public corporation to manage revenue-generating activities of a commercial nature such as a temporary placement or personnel selection.

The new organization therefore had to adapt its tools to the new demands of competition, while continuing to provide a public service.