News item | 09-03-2023 | 6:00 PM

    Working helps newcomers to integrate faster. It contributes to learning the language, building a network and it gives more self-confidence. The cabinet therefore wants status holders, or refugees with a temporary residence permit, to start working more quickly than is currently the case. Municipalities are therefore going to work with starting jobs for status holders. They are also linked to potential employers in an asylum seekers’ centre.

    This is stated in an action plan that Minister Karien van Gennip of Social Affairs and Employment sent to the House of Representatives today. The plan has been developed with social partners and a large number of civil society organisations, temporary employment agencies and municipalities.

    From Gennip: “You learn the Dutch language and culture the fastest on the work floor. That is why it is essential that status holders get and seize the opportunity to start working as quickly as possible. With a paid job, status holders can live their lives independently and contribute to society. This is very important for status holders themselves and for mutual solidarity in our country. We are going to help beneficiaries more actively with this, together with municipalities, employers, education and social organizations.


    Municipalities are responsible for guiding beneficiaries to work. Since 1 January last year, they have also been responsible for the integration of status holders. The Brainport Eindhoven region and the Brabant municipalities of Boxtel, Meijerijstad and Nuenen will start work this year on so-called starter jobs for status holders. The idea is that status holders start working from the moment they come to live in a municipality. This is a job that is combined with integration. The precise interpretation is up to municipalities. As a result of a starting job, status holders find their feet in society sooner and they learn the language and how things work on the work floor in the Netherlands more quickly. This makes it easier and faster for them to progress to sustainable work and at the same time fulfill their obligation to integrate. If this works well, it will be expanded to more municipalities.

    Get started from the AZC

    In addition, the asylum seekers center is already looking at what talents, training and work experience status holders have to offer, in order to help them find paid work as quickly as possible. For example, they are linked to potential employers via the ‘participation desks’. Participation desks are points at about forty azc locations where residents can go for information and activities. We have already had good experiences with this and we are exploring whether expansion is possible. The government is also investigating other ways in which promising asylum seekers can start paid work more quickly than is currently the case.

    Practice learning more often

    The cabinet wants to encourage practical learning in secondary vocational education. Employers will receive more information about the possibilities for support and financing in training and employing status holders. The information about learning and working for the beneficiaries themselves will also be improved. In addition, it is being investigated what specialized job coaches can do to help asylum status holders find work more quickly. Diplomas of status holders are not always recognised; employers, trade associations and educational authorities will look more often at the skills of beneficiaries.

    Network helps to find work

    With the group of Ukrainian displaced persons, we have seen how important a network is to find a job. Status holders often do not have an extensive network. A pilot has been set up in the healthcare sector by refugee organization UAF, which has now linked 80 refugee healthcare professionals to medical mentors. In this way, status holders will have better access to internships and jobs in the healthcare sector. We are looking at how this can also be set up in other sectors.