Attracting and Retaining International Talent: South-Holland Collaboration Started

06 Nov 2021
Author: HSD Foundation

Labour shortages in South-Holland are bigger than ever, similar to other parts of the Netherlands. Not all vacancies can be filled by employees from the region or from other parts of the country. There are jobs for international employees with a higher education in sectors such as Life Sciences and Health, High Tech, and Maritime, but also in the Cybersecurity sector. On Wednesday 3 November, the International Talent Programme deal was signed to strengthen and combine existing initiatives.


This deal, that is part of the regional Human Capital Agreement, is the first step in starting the International Talent Programme. The program has three pillars: attracting international talent, retaining (international) talent and supporting service providers in attracting international talent. This is being worked on at a national level through the NL Talent Coalition. The International Talent Programme will be linked to this national programme. Both companies and international job seekers can find more information via an online portal, for example about attracting international talent and what it is like to live in the Netherlands. InnovationQuarter is the coordinator of the programme, other financing parties include the municipalities of The Hague and Rotterdam, The Hague Metropolitan Area, Drechtsteden Region, SME Rotterdam-Rijnmond, VNO-NCW Rotterdam and the Rijnmond Region. HSD is committed to specific profiles within the security domain.


Chris Figee, CFO at KPN and member of the Economic Board Zuid-Holland: “It is important for companies such as ours to have the right people in the right place. The talent that we need is becoming scarcer in the Netherlands and an initiative like this can help. The Talent Programme helps to put South-Holland and KPN on the map for talent from abroad.”


“Almost 18,000 international students study at the three universities in the South-Holland province. A quarter of them stays in the Netherlands to pursue a career and contribute to the Dutch economy. However, this percentage is not self-evident. Talent is available in South-Holland, but more work can be done to connect this talent to companies in the region that need their insights and skills,” explains Prof. Wim van den Doel, dean of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Universities alliance.


The programme is espected to last will until 2023, but the ambition is to sustain this programme in the region. Are you curious about the developments of the International Talent Programme? For more information, please send an email to programme manager Sasja Heijman:


Human Capital


The International Talent Programme deal is part of the broader Human Capital Agreement that was signed in June 2019 by 66 parties and sectors in South-Holland, including HSD Office and various HSD partners. The Province of South-Holland and the Economic Board South-Holland are the initiators of the Human Capital Agreement. Its aim is to get the most out of working talents. Read more about the Human Capital Agreement here.  


International talent for (cyber) security


HSD has already undertaken and supported various projects and activities within the Human Capital Agenda Security to make relevant talent available to the sector, including the annual International Cyber Security Summer School. HSD partners share their vacancies via, some of them are also in English for international talents.


Click here to read this article in Dutch.


react kvw 2

HSD Partners involved

More Interviews

All interviews