Monday 26 October 2020

Lack of career prospects leaves care workers to quit, says report


Government efforts to combat the staffing crisis in the care sector are inadequate because of a lack of career perspectives and insufficient work challenges, an independent commission has found.

The care sector remains a ‘colander’ leaking staff, the commission warned. Almost half the people signing up for a job in care leave within two years. A lack of prospects and unchallenging work are the most cited causes, with low salaries only coming in at seventh place.

Last year 110,000 people left their care jobs, only 1,000 fewer than the year before, despite the government’s campaign.

Commission chairman Doekle Terpstra, who sent a critical report to health minister Hugo de Jonge before Christmas, told Trouw that employers who think giving people a company bike will convince them to stay in care jobs are sorely mistaken.

The  initially successful recruitment drive – 41,000 more people signed up for training compared to two years ago – means there is no space to train more people. The emphasis must lie on motivating those who already work in care not to leave, Terpstra said.

Terpstra, who spoke to employers, insurers and training institutions, told the paper that while people want to work in care, employers have for years invested far too little in keeping them.

‘I sometimes think employers still regard people who work in care as people with a vocation but the new generation consist of young professionals who are motivated and want a career, and so do staff already there,’ he told the paper.

The way the care system is financed is another obstacle, he said, because institutions are paid according to individual performance. This makes finding solutions for staffing problems more difficult.

‘Cooperation, not competition, and a consistent and region-based way of financing instead of each individual institution will contribute to solving the staffing problem,’ he said.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.