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Going Dutch: tips for working in the Netherlands

If you’re a welder, auditor, district nurse or programmer, there might be work for you in the Netherlands. These are all professions in high demand in the country, and EURES can help you find the perfect job.

Unemployment is falling in the Netherlands as the economy recovers, and while the number of government jobs is set to fall due to cuts, employment in the private sector is rising.

While there is little demand for low-skilled workers, there is a shortage of applicants for medium-skilled jobs and therefore a good chance of finding work in a number of technical occupations. These roles include CNC machine operators, specialist welders and industrial pipe fitters, while design engineers, technically qualified project managers and R&D specialists are also in demand.

There is also an increasing need for people who can combine ICT knowledge with business, as well as specific care occupations, financial specialists, and teachers of maths, science and languages, at all levels of secondary education.

Creating a wide professional network will increase your chances of finding work in the Netherlands, as many vacancies are filled informally. The Dutch workplace is increasingly relying on flexible work, with one in three people working as contractors, seasonal staff, freelancers, on zero-hour contracts or via temporary employment agencies.

UWV, the public employment service, is a member of the EURES network and provides lots of information in English, German, French, Spanish, Bulgarian, Polish and Romanian on its website, werk.nl. Here you can find out all you need to know about work permits, job applications and other formalities about life in the Netherlands.

EURES and UWV publish job vacancies on their websites, and you can also post your CV here if you’re looking for work. There are general and specialist job sites listed on the UWV site.

In the Netherlands, spontaneous applications to companies are very common. If you see a company you’d be interested in working for, you can send your CV and letter of motivation without waiting for a specific vacancy to be published.

While English is widely spoken, you’ll need to speak some Dutch to increase your chances of finding work. EURES Staff at UWV can assist you in finding a place to study. 


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"Focus on…" articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the European Commission.