Open Amsterdam is a strategy by the municipalities of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, its universities, colleges, research institutes, schools, healthcare organisations and community players, all working together to establish Amsterdam as the ideal homebase for international talent. The action plan aims to shape and improve services in the city, fulfilling clear and simple goals that combine to guarantee the highest quality of life.
We are committed to establishing the Amsterdam Area as a true go-to place for internationals – a place where they want to move to, and a place where they want to stay. This action plan is the result of this commitment.
Fulfilling the strategy’s goals
To reach the goals laid out in the Open Amsterdam strategy, Amsterdam must:
- be home to an exceptionally high-performing international education system;
- offer optimal access to the labour market;
- become known as an outstanding launchpad and testbed for entrepreneurs and startups;
- provide optimal housing conditions;
- be a multilingual, welcoming city – from City Hall to the streets.
Cities and metropolitan regions worldwide constantly vie to attract international companies. In this persistent state of competition, the presence of talent is a crucial factor: innovation is only possible if you have the people to drive it forwards. That’s why companies not only look at the existing workforce when considering future business locations, but also the strength of the potential workforce.
A bright future
We want international talent to come to Amsterdam, and we want talent to stay. International students, graduates, employees, entrepreneurs, researchers and creatives: these are the internationals that we hope will call Amsterdam their future home.
People from these groups have often come to the city of their own accord, they are young, highly educated and are middle-income earners. Others are still students, not only growing into a future career, but also deciding which city will provide them with the most rewarding quality of life. These are distinctly different groups from the traditional expat who is handsomely compensated to spend a year or two in a new city before moving on.
Naturally, all of these internationals have high demands when it comes to the place where they will choose to settle. Amsterdam must be able to match or surpass these expectations.
Making the most of our unfair advantages
Amsterdam’s appeal is unmistakable. We are known throughout the world as a beautiful, small but cosmopolitan city and our appeal is continually evolving. Iconic historical sights such as canals, 17th-century grandeur, bikes and windmills are being joined today by futuristic architectural developments, world-renowned brands associated with Amsterdam, homegrown startups making a global splash and a renewal of Amsterdam’s traditional entrepreneurial spirit, infused with fresh 21st-century perspectives. However, we are currently on a journey and the elements of the city’s modern-day appeal can only be amplified by improving various factors, helping to establish Amsterdam as the ideal ‘homebase’ for internationals.
Central to the programme for creating a welcoming climate for international talent and businesses are three pillars. These have been determined by analysing current obstacles (through extensive scientific research, exchange with the community itself, business consulting relating to conditions for corporate locations and looking into the challenges cities face when welcoming international talent). More information about the three pillars can be found on the individual pages. The pillars are as follows:
- Education: provide high-quality international schools (primary and secondary) and transitional courses, and simplify access to them, accommodating international children more easily; improve the visibility of all that Amsterdam has to offer to international students, create wider and diversified higher education possibilities and position Amsterdam as an attractive international student destination, and improve the ease of transition from university/college to the labour market in a bid to retain international graduates in the Amsterdam Area
- Life: improve transparency and access to information on housing and tenancy rights, supporting incoming international talent to settle and feel at home quickly and easily; simplify access to the Dutch healthcare system; connect talent to the city’s key cultural institutions through the Amsterdam Salon initiative
- Work: create an ideal business climate for entrepreneurs and startups, intensify connections with regional businesses and make the labour market more transparent for internationals