Impact of COVID-19 on labour market in The Netherlands

Today, 03 December 2020, I attended an online event organised by Volunteer The Hague.

General impact of COVID-19 in The Netherlands on jobs

  • Uneven impact: some industries are needing more
  • Reskilling: People working in restaurants for example, can they be reskilled
  • Less expats: fewer people moving to The Netherlands this year
  • More competitive: more candidates for same positions


No surprise that the focus in 2020 has been a shift to digitise businesses, a few examples:

  • Education
  • Hairdressers – checking for symptoms before appointments
  • restaurnts

Job opportunities and sectors In The Hague

  • Peace and Justice: jobs holding steady, 20,000 jobs, around 12000 internationals. Minimal impact. For example, Europol – everything moving online.
  • Security: around 15,000 jobs, short term minimal impact. Cyber security growing fast. NATO, Europol. Most internationalists are specialists with IT skills. Long term, more jobs likely to be available -for example, are the digital platforms .
  • Energy: 10,000 jobs, a lot operate offshore in the North Sea, Shell is headquartered here in The Hague, traditionally the expats came here but there is a sharp decline due to oil prices going down, some opportunities but becoming more difficult. Jobs being created in sustainable energy field, such as in Scheveningen is a new wind turbine park on the North Sea, and geothermal energy opportunities. International companies often have positions such as management assistants who speak English.
  • IT/Tech: Around 30,000 jobs with growth coming. Telecom has extra demand, build websites, develop apps, and actually going to houses to set up internet and more – and not enough skills in the Dutch labour market. Many are coming from India. If you want to resell, IT and Tech is a good area as it’s where the most people are coming from abroad.
  • Legal/Finance: Big multinationals and bank/pension funds based here to be close to central government, decrease in this sector as many services are going online so more tech skills needed – but not office jobs.

Beyond The Hague – in the rest of The Netherlands

There are many other opportunities not far from The Hague, for example:

  • Leiden – BioTech
  • Amsterdam – Creative, mobile, internet, high tech systems, sharing economy

Recruitment during COVID-19

Of course many things have gone online, such as recruitment and career fairs – so it’s easy to join. Application – make sure you include digital skills! Interview processes are often quicker during COVID with online interviews, but they still usually want to meet face to face. Onboarding is generally online and a trial period focusses on how to keep a team motivated while working remotely.

Additional tips

  • Though the Dutch are excellent at English, Dutch is important in finding work here long term
  • Volunteer work is almost equal to paid work in terms of experience
  • There are many international organisations in The Netherlands beyond the most well known
  • LinkedIn is a very common tool here, make sure yours is up to date

Volunteer organisations

  • Feel at Home in The Hague International Community Fair
  • Creative Court

More Information

  • The Hague International Centre
  • Volunteer The Hague

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