New agreement to implement the International Talent Programme in South Holland

Signing of International Talent Programme

New agreement to implement the International Talent Programme in South Holland

An agreement to implement the International Talent Programme, aimed at supporting companies in attracting and retaining international talent was signed on 3 November. There is a need for international talent especially for jobs in sectors such as Life Sciences & Health, High Tech, and Maritime. Many initiatives to attract and retain international employees already exist in South Holland. This new programme will reinforce and bundle these initiatives within one programme, and position South Holland as a great region for international talent to work and live in.

Like the rest of the Netherlands, labour shortages are greater than ever. Not all vacancies can be filled by local or national employees. This is partly due to the ageing population and the expected decline in the number of students in the coming years. The signing of the Sub-agreement International Talent Programme aims to address labour shortages in the South Holland region.


What is the International Talent Programme?

The programme has three focal points: attracting international talent, retaining (international) talent and supporting companies in attracting international talent. On a national level, the NL Talent Coalition is in place with similar goals. The International Talent Programme will be aligned with the national programme. The programme includes plans for a portal for the South Holland region: "This portal will secure the needs of entrepreneurs in the region and zoom in on what our province has to offer for international talent," said Rinke Zonneveld of InnovationQuarter, the initiators of this sub-agreement.

The online portal will contain information for companies as well as international jobseekers. For example, tips for employers on how to attract international talent and information about living in the Netherlands. In addition to the portal, the International Talent Programme will include organised activities and events for both employers and employees. InnovationQuarter is the coordinator of the programme. Other funding parties include the municipalities of The Hague and Rotterdam, Metropolitan Region The Hague, Regio Drechtsteden, MKB Rotterdam-Rijnmond and VNO-NCW Rotterdam & Regio Rijnmond.

The programme serves the needs of the entrepreneurs in the region. This is why a continuous consultation with entrepreneurs from the region will take place. Chris Figee, CFO at KPN and member of Economic Board Zuid-Holland: "It is important for companies like ours to have the right people in the right place. The talent we need is becoming increasingly scarce in the Netherlands and an initiative like this can help. The Talent Programme helps in putting Zuid-Holland, and with it KPN, on the map for talent from abroad."


How will the Programme be implemented?

The implementation of the programme will happen in close cooperation with the International Centres of Rotterdam, The Hague, and Leiden, as well as educational institutions from all over South Holland. "Nearly 18,000 international students attend the three universities in South Holland. A quarter of these international students remain in the Netherlands after graduation to pursue a career and contribute to the Dutch economy. However, this percentage is not a given. There is plenty of talent in Zuid-Holland, but more work can be done to link this talent to companies in the region that can make good use of their insights and skills," says Prof. Wim van den Doel, Dean of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities alliance.

The International Talent programme will run until at least 2023. Are you curious about the developments of the International Talent Programme? For more information, please send an e-mail to programme manager Sasja Heijman:


Human Capital

Sub-agreement International Talent Programme is part of the broader Human Capital Agreement. That agreement was signed in June 2019 by 66 parties and sectors in Zuid-Holland. The Province of Zuid-Holland and Economic Board Zuid-Holland are the initiators of the Human Capital Agreement. It aims to make the best possible use of the talent of workers. Read more about the Human Capital Agreement here (Dutch).


Source: Innovation Quarter