Jobs for new graduates are no longer in abundant supply. That is the conclusion after talking to employers at the VVA Career Day on Friday 1 October at VHL Velp.
'I was lucky. I did an internship, graduated and got offered a job with my internship company', says Arno Star. He graduated in Garden and Landscape Architecture last year and now he is a consultancy project manager and back at his old university representing his employer, the horticultural firm Van der Tol. More than sixty organizations were introducing themselves to hundreds of VHL students at the VVA Career Day.
Star says that companies are not taking on as many people now as last year. 'The entire construction industry is at a standstill and that affects our sector.' But why do all these companies have stands at this event if they do not have any jobs going? 'We want to show what we do; also, we are looking for interns', explains Star.
Other companies, too, are mainly on the lookout for students wanting an internship or somewhere to do their final project. The Municipality of Amsterdam's engineering office is prepared to see what can be done in specific cases 'given the shortages we are expecting in the labour market'. And a big company like Royal Haskoning even has vacancies for ecologists. But... 'We are particularly interested in people with a technical background in 'green' water.'
Eemfors, a company in Amersfoort that sets disabled people to work tending city parks, regularly has jobs available. 'Other gardeners just send one person whereas we have three people and a supervisor turn up', says Hans Koene of Eemfors. 'That does mean you need to be determined and creative. People either see the job of supervisor as an extra challenge or they think it is awful.'
Willem van Ark, manning the stand of the nature management agency Staatsbosbeheer, says that there is a dip. 'But that will right itself in the long term as the aging population will have a big impact.'
Two fourth years, with rucksacks and wearing walking shoes, are listening attentively. 'I want to work in ecology, doing research', says one of them. Van der Ark's advice: 'Try and make a good impression with your final project or your internship. If something happens to become available, you're just a phone call away.'