Campaign to encourage greenhouse growers to employ locals is a flop

A special programme set up by Rotterdam city council to encourage people claiming welfare benefits to work in the horticultural industry has resulted in just five people being given a permanent job, the Telegraaf reports.

The project was aimed at encouraging greenhouse growers to employ locals, rather than bring in temporary workers from outside the Netherlands or to rely on students and school children to pick fruit and vegetables.
Last week, the city council presented the results of the project, saying 26 people had found a job. But according to the Telegraaf, just five of them made it through the probationary period and have been given a formal contract.
Last summer, social affairs minister Henk Kamp stopped growers employing seasonal fruit pickers from Romania and Bulgaria, saying jobless Dutch people should do the work instead.
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