The number of foreign-born employees in the northern provinces of Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland continues to rise. Over the past four years, the international working population in the region has gone from 40,000 to 53,000.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the majority of the 13,000 new arrivals to the region live in the cities of Groningen, Emmen and Leeuwarden. Most of the non-Dutch people working in the north are EU citizens. Polish citizens form the largest immigrant group in all three of the provinces; in the province of Groningen, Germans are the second largest foreign population, and Drenthe has a high concentration of Latvian residents.
Figures from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics also found that many Romanian and Hungarian people were working in the northern Netherlands, many of whom do not remain in the Netherlands on a permanent basis. Most knowledge workers in the region come from Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom.
The International Welcome Center North, which is a partner of The Northern Times, has assisted people from 115 (non-EU) countries since its formal founding in 2014. In that year, 850 people used IWCN’s services, and in 2017, that number had nearly doubled to 1,600.
IWCN works closely with nearly 100 businesses and institutions in the north, including the University of Groningen, UMCG, NHL-Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Shell, Phillips and companies in the IT, biotechnology and medical sectors, as well as start-ups.