Government must stop racial profiling by employers: Deputy PM

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Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher believes that the government must work harder to stop discrimination in the job market. He said this in an interview with NU, talking about the unemployment rate of ethnic minorities and his plans in the fight against youth unemployment.

Recent figures by Statistics Netherlands show that while highly educated ethnic minorities have a better chance in the job market than their lower educated peers, the gap in the unemployment rate compared to people with two Dutch parents is still disproportionately high.

"I think that young people should do their best and not throw in the towel after the first setback," Asscher said to the newspaper. "The government has a very important task here The task of bringing people together, to make sure you find an internship, to help you get your first chance." He continues: "If discrimination occurs and is shown, it means that those companies are no longer allowed to work for the government."

After two years of the project Tackling Youth Unemployment, the Youth Unemployment ambassadorship of Mirjam Sterk is coming to an end. According to Asscher, the first to years of the project managed to get youth unemployment down from a peak of nearly 14 percent to 11 percent and the project is now entering a second phase, with himself and Minister Jet Bussemaker of Education as the ambassadors. "Those first two years were really meant to boost things, to bring the parties together and to ensure that there are plans in municipalities. The next two years will build on that."

For the next two years of the project, Asscher wants to make a hundred deals with employers on internships, apprenticeships and work for young people. "And I want to focus more on migrant youth. Despite the economic recovery, they threaten to lag behind." he said in the interview with NU. "We are going into the neighborhoods where these young people find themselves actually pretty hopeless. In part we teach these young people how to network, we offer them application training and everything connected with it." He continues: "Another part involves young people who are much farther removed from the job market. We must pull them out of trouble and help them find a job."

"My goal is really to address this enormous difference in unemployment among various strata of society. Unemployment among low-skilled young people is twice as high as among highly educated, and among migrants it is disproportionately higher. This is a waste of talent and a sin for society." the Deputy Prime Minister said. "You see the overall unemployment rate going down, then that of young people must really fall further. I want to finally get a little movement in those groups that are not participating. If these young people find work, then you as society have something to be very proud of."