Netherlands: Quota for immigrant youth

Henk van der Kolk, president of the FNV trade union said in an interview with Nederlands Dagblad that employers must be forced to take on an agreed upon percent of immigrant youth with vocational training. A quota rule could be applied to collective labor agreements. such a quota could vary with the composition of students in vocational education.

He is seeking persuasive methods to allow vulnerable groups entrance to the more and more tight employment market. "Many employers continue to approach only white youth. The other groups simply don't exist for them. That must be changed."

Unions and employer should supervise together whether agreements are followed about enlisting immigrant youth, people with small employment handicaps and older people. "It is not enough to agree with each other in the Social Economic Council". Quota rules are feasible, as far as he's concerned. "The economy is now doing well and therefore it's now or ever to break this pattern. There must be more pressure."

A second plan is to couple older ethnic workers with younger immigrants. "the position of the older employee is often under pressure. But these people have a lot of knowledge that they can pass on. The young foreign employees sometimes have a language or other problem. Make the older, white employees the mentor of the younger foreign colleague."

Rutger Verbeet, head of human resources of the cleaning company ISS applauds Van der Kolk. Verbeet thinks the mentor function is a good way to play in an a quickly aging personnel file. And the gov't should chip in. By lowering the premiums, older people will be cheaper, and their lower productivity won't affect the company. Verbeet and Van der Kolk point to the additional advantage in the integration process that will follow, if the current interpretation of the old master-apprentice idea is chosen.

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

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