Companies agree to fund 1,000 technical studies scholarships a year

Companies such as ASML and Shell have agreed to fund up to 1,000 scholarships for promising technical studies students every year in an effort to combat the shortage of trained staff.

The deal is one of a string of measures in a new technology pact agreed between industry, the government and the educational sector. The aim is to encourage more teenagers to take technical subjects at vocational colleges and university.

Companies have also agreed to ensure everyone studying technical subjects at vocational college gets a work-experience place.

According to some calculations, the Netherlands faces an annual shortage of 30,000 qualified technicians.

Technology is also to become a compulsory primary school subject from 2020.