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Recruiting Immigrant Workers: The Netherlands 2016

image of Recruiting Immigrant Workers: The Netherlands 2016

The Dutch labour migration system has undergone substantive changes in recent years. To induce a transition to more high-skilled migration, a programme based on salary thresholds has grown in volume while a programme based on work permits after a labour market test has shrunk. New programmes target international graduates either of Dutch educational institutions or of selected institutions abroad. Changes to immigration procedures have shifted responsibility to migrants' employers and have greatly reduced processing times. This review first examines the composition of labour migration to the Netherlands, in the context of present and expected demand in the Dutch labour market. Following a discussion of various programmes and procedures, the review assesses how labour migration contributes to the strategic development of sectors and to employment in regions. It then explores the determinants for the retention of high-skilled migrants and for the integration of international graduates into the Dutch labour market.

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Context for labour migration to the Netherlands

This chapter discusses developments in the Netherlands that have implications for the scope and scale of labour migration. Heterogeneous labour market conditions and recent contributions of migrants to employment growth are documented. The chapter argues that structural change in the Dutch economy, a trend towards higher skills and labour supply forecasts all suggest a role for targeted labour migration at both high and medium-skill levels. Labour migration could be complementary in the adjustment of the Dutch labour market because the supply of skilled labour from domestic sources has tended to increase slowly and will eventually be affected by population ageing.

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