ISS Netherlands joins partnership to strengthen integration, employment of refugees

by Brianna Crandall — January 27, 2017 — In an exemplary move for other facilities services providers with personnel needs and a desire to serve their community, ISS Netherlands has partnered with the Refugee Talent Hub — a nonprofit effort led by ISS customer Accenture along with other corporations, public agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — to support and accelerate the acceptance, integration, education and employment of refugees in the Netherlands. The first traineeships and full positions at ISS were launched on the Refugee Talent Hub’s digital platform at the end of November.

Refugee cleaning a table

The Refugee Talent Hub addresses the dual needs for skilled labor and a smoother integration process.

The Hub centers on an application where a smart algorithm matches refugees with employers, such as ISS, that provide professional opportunities, training, and support. Based on applicants’ professional profiles, the system identifies skills gaps and provides refugees with access to training that will fill those gaps. The Hub also aims to reduce the processing time of asylum requests and offers applicants support through mentorship and networking.

Kees Stroomer, country manager of ISS Netherlands, stated:

We are proud of this partnership, as it addresses two urgent issues: businesses need skilled employees and refugee talent remains underutilized. The asylum procedure in the Netherlands can take a year or longer. During that time, we can help refugees engage in “Meaningful Waiting” by offering them training and other ways to prepare them to enter the labor market and integrate into Dutch life.

As part of its partnership with the Refugee Talent Hub, ISS Netherlands signed an “Amsterdam is for everyone” pact with the City of Amsterdam earlier this year — a public commitment to help people with a residence permit join the labor market more quickly. The new hires will receive professional training and guidance, as other ISS employees do, as well as support in learning to work in a Dutch company, establishing a healthy work-life balance, and practicing the Dutch language in a professional context.