Recession looms, time for effort

Many companies in the Netherlands are feeling the blows of the rapidly changing economy. The tightness in the labor market is running high, causing shortages of personnel. In addition, more and more companies are feeling the need to make their premises more sustainable, due to stricter laws and regulations and rising energy prices. Andre Schuijl, director of Jobxion, closely follows developments and contributes to strengthening the labor market and making the Netherlands more sustainable.

A new recession 

“We can’t help but fall into another recession,” Schuijl said. “We are hearing alarming reports from gardeners and food producers, among others, who are going to be faced with far too high energy bills this winter and are shutting down production as a result.” According to Schuijl, many Dutch and international skilled workers became available in construction and engineering after the 2013 recession. Schuijl considers the same scenario: “The current measures from the government are burdensome for companies, support packages no longer offer a solution. From a labor perspective, this is problematic and requires a pragmatic approach.”

Opportunities for new entry into the labor market

It is Andre Schuijl’s personal mission to keep people from the construction and engineering industries employed. He also sees an opportunity for this group of professionals to contribute to another social issue, namely: making businesses and private homes more sustainable. “We saw the challenges coming and started a training center in 2021, where we offer employable professionals a free short training or education. The goal is to get these professionals into the job market as soon as possible, albeit in a different field.”

Jobxion: training center for construction and engineering

Jobxion’s training center offers vocational training that contributes to making the Netherlands more sustainable. Candidates are trained as carpenters, concrete carpenters, electricians, solar panel installers or heat pump installers. Some architectural and technical knowledge is required. Modules are offered at the training center, where the candidate develops new, vocational skills in a few days. For example, an electrician can be quickly retrained as a solar panel technician.

Job guarantee

With the completion of training, the candidate is guaranteed a job. A very ambitious goal with great promise. “The objective has many challenges along the way,” Schuijl says. “Much of the solution lies with our internal departments. For example, the role of practical teachers has become indispensable in making the right match because they can make sound judgments about a candidate’s experience, skills and behavior.”

The importance of a well-designed recruitment process

Schuijl advocates a well-designed recruitment process, where only potential candidates are seen at the training center. “Where we worked on speed in the past, we now prioritize process. This means that we see fewer candidates in the training center, due to more rigorous recruitment and selection . To make the right match, the connection between the recruitment, sales and marketing departments is essential.”

Vision of recession

“Success in a recession comes from efforts in times of prosperity and in times of economic challenges,” Schuijl said. Efforts he makes in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, change management and sales. In anticipation of another recession, André takes into account another changing market. He is determined to keep innovating with the training center and continue its mission. He focuses on new opportunities, drawing inspiration from management author and writer Jos Burgers on topics such as strategy, marketing and customer focus.

Future for labor market

“For the Netherlands, training new legal workers would be a godsend,” Schuijl says. He says this group contains many skilled workers who, with the right investment in language and retraining, can enter the labor market. “We have to make the best of it,” Schuijl believes. “Not everyone in the Netherlands is eager for the arrival of migrants, but if you want to keep the economy running you need them, so it is also important to train them well.”

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