One in 10 people who claims welfare (bijstand) depend on the benefit for longer than 15 years, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS.
In particular, the over-45s and people with low levels of education are likely to rely on welfare for a long period of time, an analysis of the figures in the Volkskrant shows.
It is an illusion to think this difficult group can be helped into a traditional job, Tilburg University labour market professor Ton Wilthagen told the paper. Efforts to create jobs for people who are long-term claimants usually fall apart when they have to move into the regular workforce, he said.
Some 65% of long-term benefit claimants have no school leaving certificate and are in no state to earn the minimum wage without help. Between 80% and 75% have some sort of physical or psychiatric issue making it difficult for them to hold down a job.
The solution is not schooling or education, says René Paas, chairman of the local authority social service umbrella group Divosa. ‘Education is not a wonder drug. Intelligence is not shared out equally.’
Local authorities are now responsible for the welfare benefit system and ensuring people are helped into jobs.
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