There is no quick fix for labour shortages

Robin Utrecht, ANP

Classrooms without teachers, a tunnel that closes because there are no staff, restaurants that do not serve lunch because no cook applied. There is an acute shortage of personnel in many sectors. What to do? Researchers of Erasmus University Rotterdam comment on this in the media.

Attracting a lot of migrant labour is certainly not the way to solve a major personnel shortage. Still, employers often think in such short-term solutions, labour sociologist Fabian Dekker observed in NRC. "The quick fix, that's what we love in the Netherlands. While we should actually be tinkering with the system - regulations, standards, employment conditions."

He sees more in raising wages, especially at the bottom of the labour market: raise the minimum wage. In addition, more can be automated and robotised. On top of that, there is a group of 1.2 million people who are not working while there is labout potential there. "They could be put to work with some support. An employer must be willing to guide them, to invest in them. It might take three to four months. It is a fundamental choice: do you opt for a quick solution or a sustainable one?

Cor Molenaar, professor of e-marketing at Rotterdam School of Management, reacts in de Volkskrant to striking employees at Primark, where expensive workers are exchanged for cheaper ones. According to him, this is a thing of the past: "As an employer, you are dependent on good staff. Schiphol eventually had to raise its wages in order to attract more security guards. Primark cannot stay behind.”

More information

Fabian Dekker in NRC:

Cor Molenaar in de Volkskrant - Ook winkelpersoneel wil meer verdienen: ‘De opstand van de winkelstraat is begonnen’ (in Dutch)

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