Student - March 11, 2010

Wooing women and immigrants to study forest and nature management

More women and immigrants are needed in nature management. As such, Van Hall Larenstein has launched a recruitment campaign together with future employers.

Patricia van :Lieshout is manager of a visitor's centre belonging to the forest management board in the dunes in Schoorl. The spotlight falls on her and others in www.beleefbuiten.nl.
The nationwide campaign to promote the forest and nature management profession is titled 'Experience the outdoors!'. Through it, Van Hall Larenstein (VHL) and four other organizations hope to reach youths between 15 and 17 years old.
Banners have been placed on youth sites. Radio spots are aired over Q-Music, Slam FM and FunX Radio, with voice-overs by actors Mounira Hadj Mansour (Marjana in Spangas) and Mimoun Ouled Radi (Rachid in Shouf Shouf Habibi). The campaign will run for the rest of March and be repeated in May.
 Representative
'We hope to reach students with roots in urban areas. Recreation areas in the Randstad (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and the surrounding areas) are frequented by immigrants. It would be better to employ immigrants who can establish rapport with youths and find out their views on how to run and equip these areas', says VHL programme director of Forest and Nature Management Hans van Rooijen.
'Most of our students are white boys and girls from villages in the Randstad and middle in the country', Van Rooijen describes the current situation. These students, as well as nature managers in the field, are therefore not representative of the society. That's why the Forest and Nature Management programme of VHL and the green vocational school Helicon are carrying out this campaign together with the Dutch forest management board (Staatsbosbeheer), the nature monuments board (Natuurmonumenten) and the industrial board for the conservation of forests and nature (het Bosschap).
Multi-faceted
The campaign revolves around the website www.beleefbuiten.nl. This website serves up colourful morsels of information about jobs at Staatsbosbeheer and Natuurmonumenten. Highlighted in particular are the economics, entrepreneurial and society facets of the work. 'We want young people to get a better idea of the work we do. People often think that we only have forest keepers with muddy boots', says Jacqueline Jilleba, personnel advisor at Natuurmonumenten. In fact, it's multi-faceted. 'Our work also involves liasing with special interest groups, the business side of management, and communication and education', explains Erik de Vries of Marketing & Communications at VHL.

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