People with ethnic minority background still struggling on NL labor market

Vocational high school graduates with an ethnic minority background are still struggling more to find work than their counterparts with a Dutch-background, according to a study by SEO Economic Research. One year after graduation, students with an ethnic minority background are 20 percent less likely to have a job. In addition to factors like study choice and family situation, the researchers believe that discrimination plays a role NOS reports.

Girls of Antillean descent are at the biggest disadvantage. After a year, nearly 58 percent of this group have a job, compared to 85 percent of girls with no migrant background. Moroccan-Dutch boys are also struggling on the labor market, with 63 percent having a job after a year compared to 87 percent of boys with no migrant background. Boys with a Turkish background are doing relatively well, with 70 percent having a job a year after graduation. Turkish-Dutch girls have more trouble at nearly 64 percent.

According to the researchers, the backlog among young women can partly be explained by the fact that girls with a migration background are more likely to have a child soon after graduating. Among young men, the choice of study direction plays a role. "We see that they are more likely to choose a course in economics and administrative professions and the demand there is a lot less," SEO director Bas ter Weel said to NOS. Furthermore, MBO students with a Dutch-only background more often have a paid internship or a structural part-time job, which can help in finding work after graduation.

But more than half of the difference between graduates with an ethnic minority background and those without cannot easily be explained, according to SEO. The researchers think that factors that are hard to measure play a role, such as language skills, a poorer network, and discrimination. 

In a reaction to Financieele Dagblad, employers' organization VNO-NCV strongly condemned discrimination, blaming this crime on a lack of knowledge and unconscious prejudices. "It's not only forbidden, but also short-sighted, we really need everyone," a spokesperson said to the newspaper.