NETHERLANDS. Businesses, government and educational institutes should try harder - like they do in Germany - to keep foreign talent in the Netherlands. The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) has put this in a draft recommendation to the cabinet.
Businesses and other organisations should offer work placements and traineeships to foreign students and graduates, the recommendation says. They could also provide joint grants and make affordable Dutch language courses available for them.
The supply of information can also be improved. The SER calls for a campaign that will be called Make it in The Netherlands, which echoes the German slogan, Make it in Germany. The Netherlands will be portrayed “as a country that is capable of estimating the value of international talent and welcomes it”.
Foreign alumni can also play a role: they should tell their fellow-countrymen how good it is in the Netherlands. Even student union LSVb is expected to play a role: SER suggested that they could open an international Q&A database.
The government should allow foreigners to work more hours alongside their studies. At the moment, the number of hours – not including the summer months – is limited to ten a week. The minister should look into the possibility of allowing foreign graduates more than the current one year to find a job before their residence permit expires.
The SER wrote the recommendation at the request of the cabinet, which wanted to know how they could entice foreign talent to choose the Netherlands. The Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis calculated last year that the Dutch economy benefits a great deal from foreign students. If one in five remains here to work for a few years, this will yield 740 million euro each year.
The SER members must first approve the draft recommendation before it becomes final.
HOP, Bas Belleman