Rotterdam wants Cabinet to fund plan putting refugees in jobs, traineeships
Rotterdam launched a new approach to helping refugees settle in the city in which they don't only get language lessons and training but also a job guarantee within the municipality or elsewhere in the labor market. The city has already placed 23 people in jobs and plans to expand the program significantly. "With this approach, we save on benefits and train good people for the labor market, which is why we want the government to reimburse the extra costs," alderman Vincent Karremans said to NOS.
According to alderman Karremans, this learn-work program means that new Rotterdam residents can stand on their own feet much faster. "If you are in the middle of the workplace and interact with colleagues, you learn the language and social manners better. This, in turn, prevents newcomers from ending up in social isolation."
It also provides the municipality of Rotterdam with good workers in this time of staff shortages in almost all sectors of the economy. "These are really jobs that are in great demand, like a car mechanic, security guard, or service workers." Every one of the first group of refugees who took part in the program received a permanent contract with the municipality or one of the municipality's partners.
Karremans thinks that the government funding would give more municipalities the incentive to commit themselves to training and employing refugees. “We receive money from the government to pay benefits, but if we help someone find work, we are not always reimbursed. That is why we want more money in advance for these learn-work programs so that we can help more people in this way.”
Minister Karien van Gennip of Social Affairs likes the Rotterdam approach and promised to look into the funding possibilities. "This is exactly what we need. For the people themselves to have opportunities to work and add value, but also for society because we desperately need people," she said to the broadcaster.