More focus on jobs for ‘weaker’ groups in current pay talks

Creating jobs for youngsters and other ‘weaker’ groups is proving to be a major issue in the current round of pay talks between unions and employers, website reports on Friday.

Some 41% of all pay deals currently being signed include a special focus on jobs for youngsters, older workers, women and people with an ethnic minority background, the website said.

Agreements on jobs for youngsters have been included in around 15% of pay deals signed since broad agreement was reached at a national level on combating joblessness among the under-25s. Before that deal was signed, the figure was around 10%, according to employers’ organisation AWVN.


And the number of pay deals which pay special attention to jobs for handicapped youngsters has risen from 20% to 33%, said. The official unemployment rate among the under-25s in the Netherlands is now over 16%.


‘It is very clear that after the social agreement, more deals are being made which include a special effort to offer jobs or internships to groups of workers who are disadvantaged on the jobs market,’ the AWVN is quoted as saying.

A spokesman for the CNV trade union’s youth wing said older workers could do more to help by, for example, giving up a few hours a week to a trainee.

‘Lots of youngsters want to get a foot on the employment ladder but can’t find a job,’ said CNV Jongeren chairman Michiel Hietkamp. ‘Older workers could show solidarity by cutting their hours to 70% to offer youngsters a chance.’

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