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‘Jobs on the side not the answer to labour shortage’

7 February 2008 - Businesses fear they may miss out on economic opportunities because of labour shortages. They want to tackle this problem by launching a website to recruit young people. However, FNV Jong - the youth branch of the labour movement - argues for better employment conditions.

“The current labour shortage is the most important impediment to economic development in the larger Amsterdam region”, employers’ organisations say. Especially small and medium enterprises (SME’s), with their seasonal and part-time jobs, could solve some of their problems by recruiting more young people.

However, many young people have little idea of what SME’s have to offer. A new website is to bring young job seekers and SME’s in contact with each other.

Chairwoman Judith Ploegman of FNV Jong says that in itself, this is a ‘good initiative’, if only because SME’s are important job creators. However, she also points out that labour shortages occur mainly in sectors with poor employment conditions.

“The rise of the number of people with jobs on the side and part-timers with small contracts does not contribute to improving those conditions. Continually trying to meet labour shortages by offering more jobs on the side is like carrying coals to Newcastle”.

She says SME employers could become more attractive to job seekers by offering young workers the chance to obtain a permanent contract, by offering them more control over working hours; employment with a guaranteed number of working hours; and good fringe benefits.

Image: FNV Jong and other organisations inspect employment conditions at a supermarket. MKB, jobs on the side, FNV Jong (all in Dutch)


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