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‘Nursing in the Netherlands’ job fair puts cultural integration in the spotlight

2019 marks the 25th year since EURES first began matching jobseekers with job opportunities. To celebrate this landmark, a number of events are taking place across Europe.

In November 2019, the PES of Italy’s Abruzzo Region and the University of Chieti-Pescara collaborated with EURES Italy to deliver a job day for Italian nurses who want to work in the Netherlands. The recruitment fair offered a variety of opportunities for both qualified nurses and those about to graduate.

As in many EU countries, the Netherlands has a shortage of skilled health workers. By partnering with Dutch healthcare organisations, EURES Italy aimed to match nurses with opportunities in the sector. Cultural integration was highlighted throughout the day as a key means of achieving this, with EURES and partner organisations demonstrating the attractiveness of freedom of movement and the benefits of travelling for work.

EURES has been supporting Europeans in labour mobility for the past 25 years, filling in the gap in the labour market, also through events such as ‘Nursing in the Netherlands’. The state of the Dutch labour market was illustrated with EURES’ presentation ‘Living and Working in The Netherlands’, which outlined the success story of a young Italian nurse from Rome. “The nurse’s work experience in the Netherlands was shown to have enriched him from both a professional and cultural-social point of view,” said event organiser Anna Bongiovanni.

The EURES portal offers further information about integrating into a foreign country. Jobseekers can find advice on living and working in EU countries, as well as specific information about qualifications employers recognise, and help with understanding work contracts.

The various sessions suggested that perhaps the most effective way to integrate into a foreign country is to live amongst local people. One of the most hands-on opportunities advertised at the job fair came from partner organisation PLEYADE. Their in-home nursing role, which places nurses directly into local Dutch communities, allows for practical experience while learning about the native language and culture. Bongiovanni described this as “one of the most touching moments of the event.” During this session, language teacher Bart Zwaard demonstrated the accessibility of the Dutch language – a seemingly challenging tongue – which many attendees would view as a barrier to integration. Bongiovanni added that “the Dutch dialect should not represent an obstacle in the face of the desire to move and experience life in another country.”

PLEYADE also hosted an interactive two-hour long session where interested candidates were able to have individual interviews with employers. “The students and graduates who attended the event were very satisfied with the information and opportunities presented,” said Bongiovanni. “In fact, some of the attendees who had already holidayed in the Netherlands were able to verify the positive portrayals of Dutch working life.”


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Articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. Their content does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Labour Authority (ELA) or the European Commission. Furthermore, EURES and ELA do not endorse third party websites mentioned above.