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Lisbon jobs fair leads to Dutch dream job
When one door closes, another opens... This famous phrase proved true for one Portuguese graduate engineer recently made redundant in his home country. He quickly landed a challenging new job in the Netherlands, with a little help from EURES and a dynamic recruitment agency.
“The economic crisis in Portugal led to my unemployment in early 2013,” says Pedro Pereira, who has an academic degree in electrical engineering, specifically energy and automation. “Being aware of the shortage of qualified people in other European countries, I started searching for information on how to work elsewhere in the European Union.”
This research took Pedro to EURES – the European Job Mobility Portal, where he registered his data and curriculum vitae. He made use of the portal to look for jobs and job fairs all over Europe. He signed up for and attended the Engineers Mobility Days, held in Lisbon from 11 to 12 April 2013. The event attracted 35 companies looking to recruit engineers and IT professionals, plus EURES Advisers from nine countries to offer advice and support to jobseekers.
“With my information on the EURES database, I applied for several positions advertised at this event,” adds Pedro. “One of the companies in attendance was Xelvin, a Dutch technical recruitment agency. After I contacted them, managing consultant Maikel Meijers interviewed me by video conference. A few weeks later, I was heading to the Netherlands for a face-to-face interview.”
The story is picked up by Tim de Leeuw, also a managing consultant at Xelvin: “We found a suitable Dutch company looking for someone with Pedro’s skills and experience. So we paid for him to fly over here and stay at a hotel in Breda. We also took him to the interview, where he received a job offer on the spot. Pedro spent a few days in Portugal with his family considering this, before returning to the Netherlands to take up the post.”
Xelvin eased the move for Pedro, negotiating a fixed contract with the client and finding accommodation. The agency also organised a Dutch social security number and bank account for him. According to Tim de Leuuw, Pedro is the 12th Portuguese engineer that Xelvin has hired. He notes that his agency is delighted with their first-class education and good English.
Pedro now works as a programme engineer for Xelvin’s client, a major company in the oil and gas sector, in Zierikzee, south-west Netherlands. He adds: “The EURES Portal was really useful for me. I totally recommend it to people who are unemployed or looking for a career change.”
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