Lotte de Bruin, director of the trade organization ‘Nederland ICT,’ is concerned about IT education in primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands, saying that the Dutch government has done too little in recent years to encourage schools to devote more attention to ICT education. In various neighboring countries, children in primary education already get a taste of digitization, but adjusting the curriculum in the Netherlands is not going to happen before 2021.
The current level of technical knowledge of primary school teachers is insufficient because there is currently no national standard. As a result, children in the Netherlands lack essential digital knowledge and skills, which subsequently reduces their chances to follow an IT-related education path in the future.
According to the UWV (2018), 42% of IT companies indicate that they suffer from staff shortages. Therefore, educational institutions and companies need to collaborate more intensively to develop solutions to recruit IT professionals, and it starts with sparking enthusiasm in the youth.
Young people are often not excited about the IT sector because of its image. They often think that working in IT means that you spend all day programming behind a computer, with very little idea about diversity in available IT jobs. To change this image and let young people get acquainted with this sector, active participation from the business community is required.
In Rotterdam, the RDM IT Campus is an initiative where educational institutions, the business community, and the local government seek cooperation. For example, IT companies make their platforms available for educational purposes, give guest lectures, host online classes, and deliver practical assignments and equipment.
The Dutch Data Center Association (DDA) is committed to building a bridge between education and business. Eline Stuivenwold, Education and Employment policy officer at the DDA, says: