The Dutch ICT sector is having great difficulty filling thousands of vacancies. According to Financieele Dagblad (a Dutch newspaper), current labour shortages are likely to lead to a sharp increase in wages.

At the end of last year, the Netherlands was the European leader in tech industry labour shortages. In 2020, there were 83,000 ICT vacancies for which only 17,000 graduates were available, Financieele Dagblad indicates.

According to recruiters, the Dutch job market for ICT jobs has been in something of a ‘perfect storm’ lately. Start-ups and scale-ups need more staff, the corona crisis is boosting digital transformation, and more and more foreign ICT companies are establishing in the Netherlands.

At the same time, the number of available employees is insufficient, partly due to training courses being inaccessible to foreign candidates.

Income increase

The shortage impacts the income of ICT employees. As of October 2021, gross salaries in the Dutch ICT sector are 1.1 percent higher than the previous year. Average wages are even higher for support staff, webmasters, application administrators and application developers.

Although the trend is beneficial for ICT employees, experts warn of negative developments. For example, ICT professionals may be able to earn more at competitors and make a switch. In turn, companies have difficulty replacing employees.

Recruiting across the border

Employers take several initiatives to bring in new employees. For example, former soldiers, installation engineers and recently graduated lawyers are being retrained to data scientists. Some organizations are investing in learning-working courses for ROCs. Others are recruiting across the border, actively searching for employees in southern or eastern European countries.