Action urged to help 66,000 youngsters with no job or qualifications


The government wants to help some of the thousands of youngsters who live under the radar in the Netherlands get a job or qualifications, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.

The paper says some 66,000 youngsters live out of sight of the authorities because they’re not studying, they don’t have a job and they don’t receive benefits. Officials fear many turn to crime, or become dependent on welfare.

The state job centre UWV, social services and local councils all separately try to help these youngsters, but the cabinet thinks a central approach would be better, the Volkskrant said. Officials are now trying to quantify the size of the problem and work out a plan of campaign.

Researcher Trudi Nederland from the Verwey-Jonker Institute thinks some regional approaches can be useful. She speaks highly of the very personal approach in Dordrecht, where one mediator talks to youngsters extensively about their problems, and tries to help them get back on track.

‘Research by our institute has shown that creating a central point of contact is necessary to help these youngsters through a whole process,’ she said.

Nederland warns against forcing youngsters with no qualifications back to school. ‘These youths have often already failed in that same educational system. It’s very difficult to flip a switch and try again. Let these youngsters work first, and link it to a learning process later which is much more effective,’ she said.

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