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'Illegal' youngsters will get work experience in Amsterdam

Thursday 05 April 2012

Amsterdam city council agreed on Wednesday night to offer work experience placements to youngsters without residency permits, putting it on a collision course with social affairs minister Henk Kamp.

Children who are in the country illegally are allowed to attend school but the law does not allow them to undertake work experience because they have no work or residence permit. This often prevents them from completing their education.

'It's very strange to say they can go to school but not have work experience,' council leader Lodewijk Asscher told a press conference following the decision. 'With out work experience, you don't get your diploma.'


Minister Kamp has warned that educational establishments and employers who give work experience to youngsters will be fined €8,000. Next year, the fine rises to €12,000.

The council says it is prepared to pay the fine using money available from the Start Foundation, a source of finance for projects that help the underprivileged to find work.

The children's ombudsman supports the decision, reports the Volkskrant. Last year the Council of Europe declared 'work experience is part of education and must be included'.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

And once again, the local councils have more common sense than the federal government. Hmmm....this "keep federal government small and allow local governments to run themselves" sounds like a good American philosophy to take-on in today's political climate. Too bad it's all the bad American philosophies that Rutte is interested in.

By Stupid | 5 April 2012 9:04 AM

Illegal people should be encouraged to move out, not be given any welfare besides basic (not higher) education and health care. It's crazy to spend money in people who shouldn't be in the country whereas legal families struggle with youth unemployment and education is subject to budget cuts. The first cuts should be for people who don't obey the law.

By Andre L. | 5 April 2012 11:07 AM

Yet another reason why I am still proud to live in Amsterdam! This is the council us Amsterdammers all vote into place, which is quite a bit different from the way the rest of this country votes.
'Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig'

By Bill | 5 April 2012 11:31 AM

These people r prime targets to get taken advantage of, either give them full rights to work and education or kick them out all together. Anyone who is allowed to stay in the NL must be treated as equals, it's essential for Dutch living and working standards and societies health as a whole

By Phil | 5 April 2012 11:43 AM

Uh. Wait a minute. You are going to give jobs to illegal alien kids when Dutch adult and teenage unemployment is so high? How stupid! You are encouraging illegal immigration at the cost of your own people! Are you crazy?

By The Cat Lady | 5 April 2012 4:17 PM

Another example to show that local councils easily over-ride decisions by the Government body! "illegals" are not "underprivileged" and therefore not entitled to educational funds intended for the latter. Seems to me the decision- makers are not clear where their own rules begin and end.

By smeil | 5 April 2012 9:11 PM

Dutch rules and regulations limp on two legs here. Perhaps a clear choice needs to be made: either become a nation state that actively and mercilessly prosecutes and deports people just for not having the right papers, or a country that is willing to give people the chances that they need to become participating citizens. It's quite hard to be both.

By Martin | 6 April 2012 1:33 AM

@Martin: I don't see the dichotomy you presented. Lack of papers is not a random situation (like "someone stole my passport and my ID card"), but the result of a deliberate breach of law by the person or their parents.

By Andre L. | 6 April 2012 11:06 AM

It is not a clear situation of the City Council favoring illegals. There are quite a few cases of children who are brought to the Netherlands by their parents or guardians- they didn't have any choice in the matter and often they lack the choice to return home (as they are under 18). This approach allows them the opportunity to graduate from their education and become working members of Dutch society- eventually citizens.

By Stephanie | 6 April 2012 3:48 PM

I can't believe people are begrudging children the chance of work experience. These aren't long term or highly paid jobs: they aren't going to create a job for an adult (nor will they find one for 3 months work at a couple of hundred a month IF lucky). Our selfish generation has robbed all children of the money and opportunities we once had - is learning a few skills and getting a good reference for future interviews (and of course, achieving their college papers) such a terrible thing to offer any child?

By osita | 6 April 2012 6:50 PM

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