The 2nd edition of the 'Youth on the Move' program (Jeugd op Zoek) was held in The Netherlands recently. The program is completely focused on youth unemployment and allows Randstad to contribute to solving this issue in the Netherlands. From 3rd September to 8th October, Randstad the Netherlands and Mirjam Sterk, appointed by the Dutch government to lead the fight against youth unemployment, teamed up again to find jobs for as many unemployed youths as possible. To do so, they asked for the support of all Dutch employers. 

Even though the Dutch economy is recovering, the labor market is still tough for the 18 – 26 year old age bracket. Whereas the overall unemployment rate in The Netherlands is 8.2%, the percentage for youths is 15.1% (122K unemployed youngsters), a historic high. In 2013 Randstad organized the ‘Youth on the Move’ program for the first time. It was a huge success: of the youngsters who found a job then, 78% is still working today. This clearly shows young talent is valuable to organizations.

While it is an illusion to think one can solve the issue of youth unemployment solely through a private-public initiative, each youngster only needs one employer to start their career. 

The biggest obstacles for young people are that their resume does not reflect their abilities and that they do not know how to present themselves well to potential employers. 

During the program, 33 ‘Youth on the Move’ events were organized throughout the country. At the events 2,873 youths met with 203 employers, 2,892 resumes were checked, 976 LinkedIn profiles were improved, 1,545 people had their picture taken professionally and 1,306 people took part in one of the workshops. These efforts brought the young people a step closer to their first job. Randstad also offered support online through practical tools and in its branches via their consultants. Over the course of 5 weeks, over 10,000 youngsters were supported in finding a job: 9,829 vacancies were filled and 2,132 young people are finalizing the process. 

Says Marjolein ten Hoonte, director Labor Market, Randstad The Netherlands “There is a lot of young talent out there that is needed by employers, but it’s not easy to find. Many young people don’t get noticed by employers because they do not present themselves well or simply because their CV isn’t put together the right way. Also, youngsters should go out more and network. Many jobs do not get shared externally but get filled by a friend of a friend. I consider it our responsibility to help these talented youths.” 

Youth unemployment is partly caused by a mismatch in the labor market. Youngsters also often go into fields of study that do not fit them well or in which it is difficult to find jobs, notes Mirjam Sterk. “Young people don’t always possess the skills employers ask for, or what the increasingly flexible labor market asks for. That was one of the reasons we decided to broaden the ‘Youth on the Move’ program with workshops on how to apply for jobs, CV checks and improving your LinkedIn profile.”