Over a quarter of Dutch are keen to work abroad

Photo: Odi Busman
Photo: Odi Busman

More than a quarter of Dutch citizens are considering working abroad at some point in the future, well above the EU average, a new EU-wide survey has shown. However, the Dutch are more likely to say they would want a temporary contract than their European peers.

The data comes from a survey carried out for the European Commission to understand mobility trends in the European Union after the pandemic.

In total, 27% of Dutch respondents said they could envisage working outside the Netherlands compared to an EU average of 18%. But only 42% of Dutch nationals who would like to work abroad would want a permanent job, compared with 58% of EU respondents as a whole.

Another difference compared to the rest of the EU concerns seasonal work: while 16% Europeans would move for this reason, only 7% in the Netherlands would do so. The preferences are similar, for traineeships (12% EU and 13% Dutch citizens) and volunteering (7% EU and 8% Dutch citizens).

In terms of destinations, the Dutch favour Germany, Britain and North America, followed by Spain and Australia/New Zealand.

Salary seems to be an important issue: 31% said they would be prepared to move for about the same pay (the EU average is 10%), while 19% said they would want to earn at least 25% more and 14% about 50% more.

Those who wanted to stay put said this is because of family constraints, having a good job or a house they would not want to leave. But the Dutch are less likely than other Europeans to say a lack the language skills would be an obstacle (7% against 18%).

The vast majority of respondents also said the pandemic has not influenced their plans to work abroad.

Carried out between May and June 2022, the EU-wide survey found that across Europe the intention to move is stable compared with 2009. The motivation, however, is slightly different. This year more people (34%, +2 percentage points) mentioned culture and mentality as a factor in wanting to move and money was less of a reason.

Over 15 million EU citizens live or work in an EU country other than that of their nationality. The majority, 62%, have been outside their country for more than a year and 73% of those considering a move also plan to stay abroad for more than one year.

For Europeans thinking to move, Germany is the most popular choice, followed by Switzerland, Spain, the United Kingdom and Northern America.

Only 8% would choose the Netherlands (+1% compared to 2009), but the country isĀ  popular among Finnish (20%), Danish (15%) and Swedish (14%) citizens.

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