“The Netherlands works with water”
The Dutch water sector has many opportunities for growth, but to capitalise on these it requires sufficient numbers of well-trained professionals. However, finding qualified people who want to work in the sector is no easy task. In part due to ageing and departures, the water sector has 40,000 vacancies to be filled up to 2020. The task of the Human Capital Core Team is clear.
Only some of the vacancies in the water sector can be filled by recruiting graduates. And, this pool of graduates is choosing less often for a career in technology or the water sector. This is not because the water sector is uninteresting, but because they are unfamiliar with it. Unknown means unloved. To ensure that the water sector has sufficient qualified people at its disposal in the future, the Human Capital Core Team has identified four themes:
• Image Promotion & Recruitment
• Education & Research
• Human Resources
Image Promotion & Recruitment
Raising the image of the sector will be stimulated by introducing young people to the diversity of water and technology at an early age. An example of this is the Water Estafette with guest classes given by water professionals. From the beginning of November 2012 to the end of March 2013, water experts gave 732 guest classes and reached 20,000 young people. In addition, work is being done on strengthening the image of the water sector as an attractive sector.
Education & Research
This is a separate theme for building the image of water programmes (in senior secondary vocational education, professional higher education and academic higher education). Employers and education institutions are forming partnerships in which the employers are closely involved in the education programmes. The forming of networks in water programmes involving specialisations and the exchange of curricula is being stimulated. The Core Team assists in shaping up-to-date and exciting programmes which include current issues.
This theme ensures the retention of human capital by investing in current employees. This means they remain employable for longer because they have been prepared for future developments in their field. Moreover, knowledge exchange is being stimulated in the field of HR and through staff exchanges between employers in the sector. In addition, expanding lateral entry into the water sector is a major cornerstone.
The goal of this theme is to prepare current and future professionals for working in an international context and to recruit and retain international talent for the Dutch labour market.