In the past few weeks, DutchNews.nl has reported on the shortage of qualified teachers, and Amsterdam’s efforts to solve the problem by drafting in civil servants, students and refugees. We’ve written about the crisis in the hospitality sector, with cafés closing because no-one wants to waitress or wash up. The lack of qualified IT staff is beginning to bite, some 4,000 qualified nurses are needed and the police are taking industrial action in support of more pay and more colleagues. The building trade is also suffering and the house building programme is slowing down because of it. In fact, there were a record 251,000 job vacancies in the Netherlands at the end of August.
How strange then that the government appears to be doing its best to discourage one particular group of foreigners who are already in the Netherlands and doing jobs which no-one else either wants to do, or is skilled enough to do: the ‘expats’.