Volunteers and interns are replacing regular workers, union warns

People with a paid job, such as in a library or care home, are increasingly being replaced by volunteers, according to trade union federation CNV.

The country’s second-biggest union grouping launched a hotline for worried workers at the beginning of this month and received 150 reports within 10 days.

The replacement of real jobs by voluntary ones is having a particular impact on youngsters leaving vocational college who are unable to find work, the union told broadcaster Nos. Older, experienced staff are also losing their jobs.


These ‘new unemployed’ will form a major expense for society in the future, the union warns.

In some cases, people are sacked and then asked to continue as volunteers. In others, interns and youngsters on work experience programmes are doing the jobs of regular staff.

‘Cost considerations are becoming key to maintaining quality,’ said CNV spokesman Pieter Oudenaarden. ‘Volunteers and interns are very valuable but should be additional to regular jobs.’

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