Shortage of personnel requires continued commitment | News item

News item | 03-02-2023 | 4:00 pm

The tightness on the labor market is expected to ease somewhat in the short term due to reduced economic growth. At the same time, many vacancies remain unfilled and the shortage is expected to remain a structural problem in a number of sectors in the longer term. In particular, there will be shortages in healthcare, education, technology, ICT and professions that are necessary for the climate transition. This requires continued efforts from the government, employers and employees.

This is written by Minister Van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment to the House of Representatives. The number of vacancies per 100 unemployed persons decreased slightly in the third quarter of 2022, from 143 to 121. This is expected to decrease further with lower economic growth. However, we should not think that the staff shortages are over with this. Many vacancies are still unfilled and we all notice the consequences. This will remain a major challenge for the foreseeable future, as more people retire and there are not enough people in the workforce as a result of the aging population.

Minister Van Gennip: β€œIn the future there will be fewer people in work. There is no simple solution for that. We will have to accept that not everything can be done at the same time. For this reason, the government is actively working on the fundamental question of what the economy and our labor market could look like in the future. In addition, we must make extra efforts to guide people to work, to encourage workers to work more hours and to ensure that work is attractive and that people have the right skills. Moreover, we will have to organize jobs smarter and more efficiently, in order to do the same work with fewer people. This means that we all have to work: government, employers and employees. Only together can we keep the Netherlands open.”

Green and digital jobs

The cabinet is fully committed to the actions to tackle shortages, which were presented before the summer. An important part of tackling shortages is looking at what exactly is needed for each sector, such as education or healthcare. For example, today the government approved the Green and Digital Jobs Action Plan, which will tackle the shortage of employees in technology and ICT together with employers and education. For example, the intake in science and technology education must increase and the cabinet wants to retain technical personnel in technology and ICT.

To work

The government is also exploring ways with social partners to encourage more hours of work and to make work more rewarding and attractive. Consider, for example, raising salaries, offering secure contracts and more control over your work. It is also important that employees continue to develop throughout their lives, as the government is investing 1.2 billion euros in this. In addition, consideration is being given to how more people can get a job, such as people with a disability or status holders. In addition, the government and social partners are investigating the possibilities for financial support for lateral entrants in places where there are major shortages. Compensating for the loss of income during the transition period, during which lateral entrants often follow training required for their new job, can help to encourage more people to make the transition. The government will review the financial feasibility and desirability of the proposed measures in the spring.

More work pays off

It is often thought that working more hours does not pay off because of taxes or allowances that will no longer apply, but for most people the opposite is true. For 7 out of 8 workers, the so-called marginal pressure is lower than 60 percent; that means that they keep at least 40 cents from every extra euro earned. Almost 2 in 8 have more than 60 cents left. It is therefore important to be well informed about the consequences of working more or fewer hours. To this end, Nibud has developed the Work Hours Calculator to map out the financial consequences for the personal situation. The government is committed to ensuring that people get a clearer picture of this and are able to find these kinds of resources.