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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.11 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 28 November 2023

Equal opportunities in education

An important current debate is the equal opportunities debate in education, but also on the labour market. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science initiated the programme Equal Opportunities (Gelijke Kansen). Read more about the programme in paragraph 6.10.

Internship and employment discrimination

10 percent of the students looking for an internship experience discrimination, according to research executed by The Netherlands Institute for Social Research in 2020. For young people with a (non-western) migration background it takes more effort to find an internship and their job applications are rejected more often compared to students without a migration background. Because internship discrimination may play a role, in recent years the Ministries of Social Affairs and Employment and Education, Culture and Science have undertaken a variety of actions against internship discrimination. Among other things, research to effective interventions against internship discrimination, an investigation of the differences in chances on the labor market for higher education students with and without a migration background, the implementation of a hotline and a reporting app, a campaign and training for companies, schools and secondary vocational students in the LOB/Equal Opportunities (LOB/Gelijke Kansen) project.

In addition, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment initiated the Action Programme Job Discrimination 2018-2021. The programme focusses on supervision and maintenance, research and instruments, and knowledge and awareness. One of the target groups are people with a non-western migration background, including young people.

Effects of policies and the corona crisis on young people

As mentioned in paragraph 3.2, young people have organized themselves in Coalition-Y (Coalitie-Y) and the Young People Think Tank Corona Crisis (Jongeren Denktank Coronacrisis) to gain (political) attention to urgent matters faced by young people due to government policies and measures taken against the spread of the corona virus. In April 2021 issues like youth unemployment and a lack of financial security because of flexible employment contracts were still under debate.