Emplooi was set up by the Dutch Council for Refugees (DCfR) in response to the high unemployment among refugees. In 2000 Emplooi became an independent foundation; with mentors spread throughout the Netherlands. Since its creation it has helped 11,000 refugees enter the Dutch labour market. To help refugees get into jobs, Emplooi carries out various activities:
- Co-ordinates a network of 100 mainly retired volunteer advisers/mentors, the majority of whom are entrepreneurs and business persons who support refugees into employment;
- Holds a database of jobs and details of refugees available for work, to match them much like a job agency;
- Helps refugees who wish to set up their own business;
- Sets up internships and work placements for refugees.
Emplooi mentors work voluntarily for a minimum of two days per week and are matched to refugees depending on their experience and employment background. Mentors help by first discussing, at length, the employment possibilities with the refugee. Mentors may then assist the refugees to find vacancies, write job applications, accompany them to interviews and introduce them to employers. Once the refugees are employed, mentors can continue to support the refugees and their employers in their new working relationship.
Most of the volunteer mentors are recently retired, aged 55 years or over. They are recruited through word of mouth and positive promotion of the project, in addition to focused advertising.
“I am very satisfied... through (Emplooi’s) good contacts in the business world I could find a job relatively quickly. On my own it would have taken considerably more time to find the nice administrative job I currently have.”
Refugee client of Emplooi