Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

AUAS starts retraining highly educated unemployed for work in IC

2 Oct 2015 09:45 | Communication

On the one hand, the Amsterdam region is struggling with large numbers of graduates of universities and higher professional education who can’t find work, while on the other hand there is a chronic shortage of highly trained ICT specialists.

On the basis of a win-win situation, therefore, a special project  commenced at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) on Monday 31 August, in which unemployed people with a high level of education will retrain as software engineers in one year as part of the ‘Make IT Work’ project.

At present, on the one hand there are high levels of (youth) unemployment, while at the same time there are some 12,000 unfilled ICT vacancies in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.* The Make IT Work project aims to tackle this mismatch. The project is part of the regional plan Putting talent to work drawn up by the Amsterdam Economic Board.

Minister of Social Affairs Asscher and the affiliated employers will invest a joint total of 14 million in the job creation plan, 1.8 million of which is earmarked for this project.

In class tomorrow

The first intake of trainees to be retrained will start tomorrow with the first day of lessons in this Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences course. The students all already have a bachelor’s or master’s diploma and have studied a wide range of subjects, such as history, criminology or cell biology. AUAS Make IT Work project leader Ronald Kleijn: “The diversity of backgrounds in itself is not a problem. What’s important is that the potential ICT specialist is motivated, has an analytical bent and the insight required to programme. In this case, the retraining will be a success.”

For the first five months, the trainees within Make IT Work will follow full-time education at AUAS. During the second semester, the trainees will spend six months working four days a week with one of the employers affiliated to the Make IT Work project. This work will be paid from day one. The trainees will spend one semester still following courses at AUAS for one day a week.

Half of the cost of this will be financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. The other half will be paid largely by the participating employers. The students themselves will also contribute financially to their retraining. Employers participating in this project include CGI, Conclusion, Rojo Consultancy, Experis IT, iSense, IBM, Industrial Automation Partners, Amis and AUAS itself.


Following successful completion of the entire course, the trainees will receive a bachelor’s level certificate and the skills of a software engineer. The trainees will then have the knowledge and skills acquired during the retraining process, as well as six months work experience as a software engineer. The trainees are then ready for a career in the ICT sector, which is still developing and expanding.