WOS Aims To Bridge The Vocational Skills Gap In The Netherlands

New York, NY: Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS), the leading non-profit organization geared towards aligning individuals from underserved groups with transformative career opportunities, is expanding its impact to Europe. The organization announced that four Netherlands-based companies will adapt the WOS training program model as an avenue to bridge the vocational skills gap for millennial talent.

The vocational sector is one of the driving forces behind the Dutch economy. The government invests nearly EUR 2.6 billion annually into this field. However, studies show that there is a skills gap amongst millennials in regards to vocational education. Recently, members of WOS’ senior leadership team traveled abroad to Groningen to gain perspectives surrounding recruitment issues faced by corporations. The companies that met with WOS leaders included Engie Services BV, Strukton Worksphere BV, Energiewacht and Eekels Technology BV. Amongst the common obstacles shared were a workforce that is aging out, a high demand for skilled workers, talent shortages, and a lack of millennial candidates who encompass both technical and interpersonal skills.

In efforts to provide solutions for these setbacks, WOS leaders introduced the organization’s training initiatives to companies; emphasizing the importance of implementing programs that not only foster the growth of job-related knowledge and skills, but also serves as a resource for candidates to receive mentorship throughout their career journeys. “Businesses need new talent. Old-line businesses have a workforce that is aging out,” said Addie M. Rimmer, Director, Student Learning, WOS. “They have to find people to replace them, but they also need to do something a little different because more and more young people are enticed by the digital world. These businesses are moving into a digital space. The jobs are there, but they are trying to make vocational jobs more appealing to millennials.”

In September 2017, all four companies will implement WOS training models for blue-collar jobs. A total of 15 to 20 participants, aged 18 through 25, will participate in the program. Through the training programs, participants will sharpen their technical and interpersonal skills and receive career guidance. Alfa-college will provide the training courses and the University of Groningen and Columbia University will conduct research surrounding its impact.


Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) is a 501(c)(3) that recruits underserved young adults and veterans for professional careers through various skill-based education and mentoring programs. WOS helps individuals from underserved communities, including military veterans, overcome career challenges by providing training, resources, and financial support so that they can achieve financial independence and professional success. Learn more at wforce.org.