Several large retail chains are hiring people who don’t speak Dutch because of a lack of workers and to increase their diversity, according to NOS.
Dutch public broadcaster NOS inquired at Zeeman, Hema, Jumbo, Albert Heijn, Etos, Kruidvat, and Praxis among other stores to check whether they’re open to the idea of hiring English-speaking staff.
Zeeman said that until this year, Dutch was a requirement but the labour market conditions meant that they had to be more flexible with this approach.
Hema, Jumbo, Albert Heijn, Lidl, and Praxis said they hire non-Dutch speaking staff. However, in practice, such employees are often placed in non-customer-facing positions such as shelf-stacking.
For people wanting to settle in the Netherlands, having a job would allow them to have a bit of a safety net, be able to integrate with Dutch people in a work environment (while picking up some Dutch on the job along the way), and give them an income with which they could then pay for Dutch language courses which are somewhat pricy for some.
Over here in the North, Make it in the North recently highlighted comments made by Groningen Mayor Koen Schuiling who spoke about the need to internationalise in order to thrive locally.
“I’m not sure why we pretend we have a choice not to start hiring internationals,” one company present at the “Groningen: an International Perspective” event reportedly said.