Employees should offer ‘decent jobs’ to relieve skill shortage, says union chief

Work on building a new underground bike park in Amsterdam. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Employers who complain about the shortage of skilled craftsmen and women in the Netherlands only have themselves to blame, the chairman of the CNV trade union federation told the Telegraaf on Monday.

The construction industry, hospitality industry and IT are all crying out for skilled staff but ‘these are the sectors which have done all they can to make themselves as unattractive as possible,’ Maurice Limmen told the paper.

‘These are employers who have destroyed secondary benefits,’ Limmen said.




The construction sector has sacked people and re-employed them as freelancers while the hospitality industry has ‘refused to agree a pay deal, has dreadful working conditions and has done little in terms of training and is now suffering from a shortage of staff,’ he said.

In addition, employers and politicians should not be bringing in people from abroad to fill the gaps, he said. ‘Invest in professionals through training and permanent contracts and look at all the wasted labour potential,’ he said. ‘You make your sector attractive by offering decent jobs.’

The Randstad temporary employment agency recently suggested that the Netherlands needs to bring in 80,000 skilled workers to fill the gaps while the construction sector lobby group Bouwend Nederland has said it is looking abroad.