There can be no innovation and economic development without sufficient, well-qualified personnel.
Southeast Netherlands faces numerous challenges in this respect. Demand still outstrips supply where engineering and technology talent is concerned. This is compounded by the rapid emergence of many new jobs, many IT-related. At the same time, employment is contracting in some other sectors.
Brainport Network is focusing on closing the gaps between supply and demand in the employment market.
Action lines within the Employment theme are:
- Increasing intake and retention of engineering and technology talent;
- Investing in the competences required by industry today and tomorrow, especially in engineering, technology and IT;
- Cooperating with neighbouring countries on employment mobility in border areas;
- Recruiting and retaining international talent.
Supporting all activities within the Employment theme is the employment dashboard developed by Brainport Network, which reveals current activity in the job market.
Participation in Technology Pact
The national Technology Pact came about partly in response to shortages in engineering and technology personnel in Southeast Netherlands. Fittingly, Brainport Network is a partner with a strong vote in this programme. The agenda includes: more intake into engineering and technology study programmes; more pupils and students achieving an engineering or technical qualification and using it to get a job in the field; and keeping people with technical talents in the engineering and technology field.
Cooperation with Science & Technology Platform
Within a cooperative arrangement, the Science & Technology (Bètatechniek) Platform and Brainport Network are smartly coordinating national and regional engineering and technology programmes. These are programmes related to opting for and studying engineering and technology.
Network approach to educational innovation
Education has the task of preparing students to meet the competence requirements of future employers. Their wish lists include broad employability, IT skills and other 21st-century skills. Southeast Netherlands has numerous initiatives for new training courses, curricula and learning approaches. Examples in professional education are Centres for Innovative Professional Skills (CIVs) and Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in which industry is participating. Brainport Network fulfils a connecting role wherever initiatives can learn from each other, or act in concert. Moreover, Brainport Network forges the link with the national Technology Pact.
Regional training for tomorrow’s competences
Within Brainport Network, education, government and industry in Southeast Netherlands are working to bring together the region’s education funding bodies. These resources encourage continuing education, which broadens a person’s employability, with a view to competences that will be required in future. Funds like these are particularly welcomed by SMEs.
Work Insight project
Within the Interreg Work Insight project, Brainport Network is committed to improving the mobility of employees in the border region of South Netherlands/Flanders. Under this project, in 2018 the employment dashboard will be extended to Flanders, in cooperation with a range of partners including CBS, VDAB, UWV and Jheronimus Academy of Data Science. Brainport Network is guiding the process and providing the good linkage of employment market data.
Talent Attraction Programme (TAP) Brainport
Brainport Eindhoven is actively involved in the Talent Attraction Programme (TAP) Brainport, with the aim of recruiting and retaining international Tech & IT talent for the wider Brainport region. Brainport Network is dovetailing with this programme and strengthening cooperation with the Expat Centre.
What is it?
Employment dashboard.nl reveals what is going on in the employment market, by bringing online data together in a smart way. Data suppliers include CBS, UWV, SBB, LISA and Jobfeed. The platform is available to government agencies, educational institutions, employers and job-seekers, with the aim of helping to close the gaps between supply and demand in the employment market. Employment dashboard.nl went live at the end of 2015 as a result of the collective efforts of the eight Brainport Network partners – in terms of implementation and funding.
How does it work?
Information is easy to filter by theme, region, sector, vacancies or job categories. Trends are easy to spot and it is possible to make unique connections. Think of insights related to actual or potential labour shortages, surplus staff, more flexible working practices, intake to training courses or required competences. Users simply compile their own dashboard on the website. For example, to create a policy instrument, or as an aid to designing a training programme, a recruitment campaign or a career. There is no charge for logging in to general information; specific options require registration.
What lies ahead?
A special team is continually gathering user feedback in order to translate this into modifications and new functionalities. The largest update to date took place in October 2017, with the introduction of version 2.0 of the dashboard. As well as continued development, a key focus of attention is the geographical upscaling of the dashboard. Version 2.0 went live not only in Brabant and Limburg, but also notably in Utrecht and Drenthe. With other provinces, UWV and involved ministries, a national rollout is being discussed. And in 2018 the employment dashboard will be extended to Flanders via the Interreg Work Insight project, with the involvement of a range of partners including CBS, VDAB, UWV and Jheronimus Academy of Data Science.
Roy Willems, economy and employment market strategist at the municipality of Tilburg, regularly uses the employment dashboard in the course of his work.
“It is a nice, practical tool. For guiding policy as well as giving plans a solid factual basis. Without much digging you can distil all kinds of information from it. It shows you where there are employment shortages as well as where opportunities lie for addressing them. Take Mid-Brabant for example, it has a surplus of employees in business services due to a lack of demand. It is interesting to see that a substantial number of these people fill vacancies in healthcare and a smaller number go into industry. Insights like this have contributed to the rapid realisation of a regional mobility centre, within the framework of the Mid-Brabant sector plan.”