Opportunities to attract international talent

The Expatcenter’s Open Amsterdam strategy aims to create conditions that make an Amsterdam an attractive home base for internationals. The strategy focuses on several themes including education, career opportunities, healthcare, housing and quality of life, which were discussed in detail at the event.

Approximately 150 people attended the event from various backgrounds and organisations. Members of Amsterdam’s international community along with businesses and partners of the Expatcenter discussed their ideas for making Amsterdam top of mind as a city in which to live and work.    

The ideas and suggestions raised during the event will enable the Expatcenter to continue to develop their strategy for attracting international talent.

Summary of the topics discussed

How to improve access to the healthcare system

Attendees spoke about ways to make healthcare services in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area more accessible to internationals. This event was the first time that all parties (businesses, education providers, recruiters, internationals and more) in Amsterdam have come together to talk about the issue. 

Possible solutions included providing internationals with more information about the Dutch healthcare system, including insurance and healthcare providers, when they first arrive in Amsterdam. One idea involved dividing healthcare information into what is most relevant to internationals as they progress through the different stages of immigration procedures.

Another suggestion was to produce a promotional video that details the basics of the Dutch healthcare system in an easily accessible way. The Expatcenter is currently working on producing this.   

International education options in the Amsterdam Area

The availability of international schooling was recognised as an important factor in deciding to move to Amsterdam. Attendees of the event spoke about ways to expand the capacity of international schools in the short term, and to work towards new initiatives over the long term. The Expatcenter will continue to refine their strategies around increasing access to international education.  

Matching expectations on housing with Amsterdam’s reality: broadening the scope beyond the city centre to the greater Amsterdam Area

Attendees spoke from personal experience about some of the challenges they encountered in regards to finding housing in Amsterdam. As a solution to the increasing demand, the group discussed promoting the greater Amsterdam Area as an attractive alternative to living in the city. There were calls for more English-language information about living in the wider Amsterdam Area to be made available. In addition, it was suggested that news of new housing developments could be more widely distributed throughout the international community. 

The state of the talent pool in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and the increasing role of international talent.

The availability of highly skilled talent is identified as one of the unique selling points of the Amsterdam region. However, the Open Amsterdam strategy notes improving the match between the needs of employers and the talent available is crucial for retaining the city’s cutting edge. During the event, Manpower presented their recent report: The Skills Revolution. This was followed by a discussion in which representatives from local businesses, educational institutions, recruitment agencies, startups and members of the international community suggested ideas to improve current initiatives. One of these was to make SMEs in the Amsterdam Area more aware of how international talent can add value and to assist them by facilitating the hiring process.  

If you have any questions relating to the event or would like to request a copy of the presentations on housing or the international talent pool, contact [email protected].

Read more about the Open Amsterdam strategy for international talent or download the PDF for more information.