Members’ Corner – Dutch employers’ associations positive about government plans for more green jobs in technical sectors

3 February 2023 – The five technical and employers’ organisations behind the Technology Action Plan, including EuropeOn’s member Techniek Nederland, are very positive about the governmentmeasures presented today to ensure more green jobs in technical sectors. Their plans presented in November are a crucial part of their new approach to reducing the shortage of technicians, according to the letter sent   to the House of Representatives.

Reduce the shortage of technicians

Today, the government will present the Green and Digital Jobs Action Plan. With this plan, they aim, among other things, to ensure that a shortage of technicians does not jeopardise the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55-60% by 2030. The plan should also produce more than 1 million ICT graduates by 2030. The government’s new approach runs until 2030 and includes robust measures.

Crucial for tech sector and energy transition

Chairman of Techniek Nederland Doekle Terpstra said: “The green jobs plan is crucial for the technical sectors and for the energy transition. We need many more technical professionals to install all the heat pumps and solar panels. Moreover, innovative energy technology is becoming increasingly digital. So we are also desperate for ICT professionals, who are needed to increase productivity in the sector and accelerate sustainability”. In November last year, Techniek Nederland and four other technical and employers’ organisations presented the Technology Action Plan to the relevant cabinet. Terpstra sees a large part of those proposals reflected in the green jobs plan. “The sector organisations are prepared to invest €500 million over the next ten years, the cabinet will double that amount. With this, we can really tackle the shortage of technicians and meet the social challenges facing our country.”

Ministers positive about the Technology Action Plan

In their letter to the House of Representatives, the Ministers of Economic Affairs and Climate Change, Social Affairs and Employment and Education are positive about the Technology Action Plan that the technical branches Techniek Nederland, Bouwend Nederland, Metaalunie, FME and WEENB, together with the employers’ umbrella organisations, presented to the government in November. Implementation of this Action Plan should, among other things, ensure more labour-saving (process) innovations, a cultural change in technical sectors with more attention to retaining technicians, 1,000 extra hybrid teachers and a completely new labour market system to allow people to enter and remain in the sector (the so-called Golden Gate). A 10-year learning, work and income perspective should also make technical careers even more attractive.

Close cooperation

The coalition considers it extremely good news that the government wants to double the investments of the industry associations for the Technology Action Plan. “No one can solve this problem alone. This requires close cooperation between entrepreneurs, government, educational institutions and trade unions.” The organisations consider it a missed opportunity that little attention has been paid to introducing a successful skilled workers scheme like the one Germany has. Especially since, according to the government, it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract technicians from other European countries to work in the Netherlands. After all, other countries are also experiencing a scarcity of technicians and an ageing population.