Dutch unemployed not wanted in market gardens

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

A project aimed at getting unemployed people in the city of Rotterdam jobs as fruit, vegetable and flower pickers has flopped.

The city council had hoped that thousands of job seekers could be put to work in greenhouses in the west of the Netherlands. Some were threatened with a reduction in their unemployment benefits if they refused to apply for the work.

However, it was revealed this week that just 26 Rotterdammers were taken on by market gardeners in Westland. The majority of them failed to complete their trial period, and only five were eventually offered a job.

Most of the greenhouse owners prefer to employ students or Polish and East European immigrants because they are better motivated and work harder.

Click here for a video about the project.