NL facing massive worker retraining operation, economic council says
The Netherlands is on the eve of a massive retraining operation, according to Mariette Hamer, chair of the social economic council SER. The coronavirus crisis put a magnifying glass on the already existing problems in the labor market and quick intervention is needed, she said in the podcast Betrouwbare Bronnen, ANP reports.
Pre-existing problems on the labor market, such as the ratio between permanent and flexible jobs, and the shortages in sectors like healthcare, technology and education, were made worse by the coronavirus crisis, Hamer said. "That was already on the agenda, corona increased the urgency of that agenda."
"We are now looking at how we can help people who lose their jobs move on to sectors where people are needed. Healthcare is number one by far," Hamer said. According to the SER, the Netherlands will need approximately 2 million healthcare workers by 2040. Currently about 1.4 million people work in the sector.
Hamer regrets that no previous work was done on the possibilities for retraining. But she believes the coronavirus crisis will accelerate development on this front. There is urgent need for social organizations and politicians to open a dialogue about this. "We now have to take some important steps," she said.