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

    The shortage of personnel in technology and ICT can slow down the energy transition, digitization and sustainability and worsen the competitive position of the Netherlands. Employers in these sectors have taken action to address the shortages. In addition to this, the government is taking measures for more technically and ICT-trained personnel. The intake in STEM education must increase, the connection between STEM education and the labor market must be improved and employers and the government want to retain technical personnel in technology and ICT.

    The shortage of technical professionals is becoming more and more noticeable. There are long waiting lists for installers to install solar panels, there are few IT professionals available for innovation in healthcare and there is a shortage of electricians who can expand the electricity grid. In the second quarter of 2022, there were 86,250 unfilled vacancies in technology and 35,950 in the ICT sector.

    The cabinet has agreed to the Green and Digital Jobs Action Plan, which will tackle the staff shortage together with employers and education. This is necessary to achieve the government’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and more than 1 million ICT-skilled people in 2030. This is what the ministers Adriaansens, Jetten, Van Gennip, Dijkgraaf, Wiersma and Schouten write in a letter to the House of Representatives . With the Action Plan, the ministers are in line with the approach of technical employers and plans of ICT companies. The Action Plan fits within the government’s broader approach to tackling tightness in the labor market.

    More intake in science and technology education and retention of technology and ICT personnel

    By motivating more young people for a training and job in technology and ICT and by strengthening technology education, the number of students in science and technology education should increase. By allowing employees to develop for a lifetime, personnel for technology and ICT can be retained. In addition, technical employers are making efforts to (further) improve employment conditions and will encourage diversity and inclusiveness.

    Increasing labor productivity and combating fragmentation

    In addition to more staff, the government, employers and education also want to increase the productivity of the current staff. Innovation and digitization should ensure an increase in labor productivity. Regional cooperation between governments, employers and educational institutions appears to work well in the various measures to reduce staff shortages. In order to prevent a fragmented approach, the government is taking over the coordination and management of the approach in order to keep an overview of the initiatives. In this way, the national government can also remove obstacles more quickly and solve bottlenecks that could hinder the implementation of measures.