Labour market


Every student wants to do a study that suits his or her interests. In addition, after completing their studies, every student wants to find employment in the sector they studied for. The ISO is of the opinion that study programmes in institutions should ensure a good connection between education and the labour market. A recent graduate should not have to search long for a relevant job. If study programmes and institutions take the labour market into account, if they provide students with sufficient information and guidance with regard to their position in the labour market and if work placements are well organised, such searches can be prevented.

Current affairs

In the spring of 2020, the CDHO, in collaboration with the inspectorate, started to analyse all the current full-time higher education and university programmes. The ISO is pleased that this step has finally been taken and is looking forward to the results. However, the ISO remains critical of the criteria set and the fact that the analysis is not carried out per individual programme, despite the fact that the figures are available.

Viewpoint of the ISO

Every student deserves a good place on the labour market. To achieve this, it is important to look critically at the macro-effectiveness of programmes. Programmes must meet the needs of the labour market and prepare students as well as possible for what it requires of them. The ISO is pleased that there is finally a macro-efficiency check on the existing supply, which looks at the need for the labour market, social need and scientific need.  In addition, the ISO attaches great importance to students being informed about their labour market prospects not only before, but also during their studies. In view of the increasing flexibility of the education on offer, information before the start of the study is not enough to help students make well-founded choices about electives, work placements and master’s programmes. In addition to sound information, the ISO sees possibilities in “broad skills” as an addition to the curriculum. Such skills are becoming increasingly important in the current and future labour market.

In 2018, in response to a lot of signals, the ISO started an internship hotline to map out the issues around this topic. This hotline revealed that 60% of the respondents experience insufficient guidance from their institution, 40% of the respondents indicated that they experience insufficient coordination between the educational institution and the internship organisation and 35% of the respondents indicated that they receive insufficient guidance from the internship organisation. Politics and OCW pay little attention to internships in higher education and the associated problems. The ISO strives to create more attention for this at the national level so that there is insight into the state of affairs surrounding internships and problems can be solved.

In the field of Life Long Learning (LLO), the ISO sees a good opportunity to give people the opportunity to retrain, upskill or supplement their education during their careers as well, with the aim of gaining a better position on the labour market. However, it is very important to the ISO that offering study opportunities to working people does not come at the expense of the quality of initial education.