Labour Migrants. Indispensable to the Netherlands.


Stephanie Winet, Head of stakeholder engagement, International Organisation of Employers, Geneva /

Labour migration is here to stay. Due to the open European borders, international labour mobility has become a structural fact of life. The Netherlands too is no longer able to cope without labour migrants. There are insufficient Dutch workers available to do the work they do. Now that the economy is once again improving and the 24-hour economy has become the norm, the need for workers from Central and Eastern Europe is significantly increasing. That demand is expected to continue to increase over the coming years. Because due to the greying of our population, the size of the workforceg willdecrease starting in 2021.

In short: there is a major economic necessity to keep our labour supply up to par. To do this, labour migrants are indispensable. This is why we have to create a climate in which labour migrants feel welcome and in which there must be a sufficient supply of housing, quantitatively, as well as qualitatively. However, perceptions about labour migrants often tend to be negative. Comments such as 'they are stealing our jobs and homes' are often heard.

This White Paper published by ABU, the Dutch industry association for private employment agencies, explores whether such statements are in fact justified. The paper also takes a look at solutions to inferior housing and scarcity on the local housing market, which drive up rental prices.


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