22 September 2023
NederlandWerkt.org and 8vance will match 25,000 refugees
Stichting Nederland Werkt is an initiative supporting status holders, refugees and people with a vulnerable position in finding an education, internship or job. The platform helps job seekers prepare for their future careers. To achieve this, they use 8vance’s Matching Technology, which predicts the skills and best matches for participants, with the help of AI. Over 100+ network partners have joined the 8vance platform to unroll access to the labour market.
Matching within context
Board member Wijnand Prins talks about the approach: “Our ambassadors at the various reception centres help other status holders and refugees setting up their accounts. In the app, participants indicate which skills, work experience and diplomas they posses. Because people are often unaware of all of their skills, AI suggests these to make their profile as complete and accurate as possible. The app then takes this input and matches them with relevant vacancies. The ambassadors – with the permission of COA – voluntarily help people draw up a profile, which can be quite a challenging job. How transferable are foreign diplomas and acquired skills worth in the Netherlands? What does one desire for their career, without knowing the full possibilities of the Dutch labour market?
Board members of NederlandWerkt are speaking about this to their partners as well. These are mainly large companies experiencing acute staff shortages. Wijnand: “These companies are happy to fish in our pool for suitable candidates. Upon creating a vacancy, they immediately receive matches for the most suitable candidates. 8vance’s AI ensures that the matching algorithm takes somebodies location, ambitions, personality, aptitude, experience, education, soft and hard skills into account. Even if these are not fully motivated by the candidate, 8vance can predict these with a very high probability.”
Finding a place in Dutch society
In addition to their partners, many welfare organisations, educational institutions and other initiators support refugees and status holders in finding a place in Dutch society. Wijnand: “For example, we have access to an online pool of 20,000 Ukrainian status holders. With our partners, we expect to grow this number to 25,000 within a year. These are people waiting to be matched to relevant job opportunities, or appropriate training to carry out suitable work.”
The initiative started in 2023. The initiators started by focussing on highly educated status holders, but soon they broadened their scope to all status holders and refugees. Wijnand talks about the vision of their international and diverse management team: “The Netherlands has a shortage of staff and must realise that we are an import market. Like Finland, we could actively recruit to attract people to our country and make them part of our labour market. We want to offer everyone who gets here a fitting place in Dutch society.”
NederlandWerkt is not limited to status holders. The infrastructure is also being offered to other vulnerable groups in society. Wijnand: “An incredible number of people is unjustly sitting at home. Think of young people who have dropped out of education and are now out of reach at home. Or returnees, who become available again after a caring for their children at home for a period. UWV and the municipalities historically have had limited success in matching people to suitable work. We want to offer financially or socially vulnerable people a place in the labour market through our infrastructure.”