Work Together to Let
A Study of the Cooperative Job-
Placement Effort in the Netherlands
Centre of Applied Labour Market Research and Innovation, Hanze University of Applied Sciences
“We work together to let everyone work.” That was the message in November 2010 when a number of employers and governmental organizations in the Netherlands publicly announced that they would cooperate with each other in order to let as many people participate in paid jobs as possible. From both an economic and a social perspective, it is clearly highly important to maximize the number of people that have paid jobs. At the end of 2008, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands was a historically low 2.7 percent. Dutch employers were having difficulties finding workers. As a result, companies were forced to cooperate with the Dutch government to fill their vacancies. However, for most employers in times of economic recession (the Dutch unemployment rate almost doubled between 2009 and 2010), decreasing the number of unemployed people will not be their highest priority.
Although on a national scale employers intend to cooperate with the government to reduce unemployment, it is not always the case for local governments. The local social services, which are responsible for local labor market policy, need information that would allow them to work more collaboratively with employers. More specifically, they wish to answer the question: Why would employers cooperate with social services by providing jobs to unemployed people via a social service agency? Two main reasons make this question a really important one to answer. First, social service agencies can use the answer in