Throughout the Netherlands, projects funded by the ESF are supporting self-development and skills training. This article presents four projects that all share the same aim of helping gain sustainable employment and job satisfaction.
The ’STAR/T: Start-up Accelerator for Refugees in Twente’ project provides practical support and guidance to people who have recently migrated to the area, and want to start a business. ‘Making dreams come true’ is the project slogan, and over the course of two years, they have created an inclusive and supportive community.
The ESF project provides support in creating a successful business plan, developing a product or service, and finding the necessary finances for a new business.
Project manager, Japp Fris states, “STAR/T is a success because it is more than just business, it brings people together, makes dreams a reality and is the start of a new life.”
Thanks to the ‘Let Us Keep It Safe’, an ESF project, care-workers in the Netherlands are learning de-escalation techniques to help deal with tension and aggression they may face from clients.
The project was developed by the Bartiméus Foundation, an organisation that supports people with visual impairments and mild learning and intellectual disabilities. It aims to improve the living environment within residential facilities, by creating a more accepting, supportive and safer place to live.
A previous participant stated, ‘I have more self-confidence because of the training and now know what I need to do to stay safe’.
Based in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, the ‘Sight on work Municipality of Leeuwarden’ ESF project is partnering businesses with unemployed people.
Focusing on companies in sectors where there is high demand, the project aims to reduce the number of people receiving social assistance. This is done by understanding their skill level, and then tailoring their training and work experience accordingly.
When participants reach a basic skill level, they are then able to gain in-depth work experience and on-the-job training with potential employers.
For one participant, the project has been a huge benefit, stating, ’Sight On Work gave me confidence again.’
The ‘Fit for Flex’ project is helping temporary staff gain permanent employment in the Netherlands.
The project aims to encourage self-development and better communication between temporary workers and agencies, with a focus of creating a culture of employment that is sustainable. Recruitment consultants are trained to be specialists in the subject and are then asked to support and train temporary employees.
Project Manager Chantal Huinder said, “This project has shown that showing a real interest in people and making time to communicate is key for sustainable employability.”
ESF funding has helped the project promote new ideas in the sector, undertake research and setup multiple workshops and interventions.