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Work in the Netherlands

Despite being amongst the smallest countries in Europe, the Netherlands has always maintained a strong economy. With plenty of career paths, coupled with a high standard of living, going Dutch may well be the answer.

Job market in the Netherlands

The largest sector in the Netherlands is business services, which accounts for approximately two-thirds of its gross domestic product (GDP). Nearly 80% of the Dutch workforce is in the services sector, involved in areas such as transportation and financial and business services.

The agriculture and food sector is a vital part of the Dutch economy, with the Netherlands exporting three-quarters of its agricultural produce.

The Netherlands is Europe's largest producer of natural gas, with some of the world's biggest chemical companies also based there.

Work experience and internships in the Netherlands

As in many other countries, the Dutch hold work experience in high regard.

Multinational company Philips offers international internships to graduates from all types of backgrounds- Student Internships.

For those interested in teaching English in the Netherlands, read i-to-i Teach English in the Netherlands . There are numerous schemes available that don't require you to speak Dutch.

Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by securing:

- Placements for business and economic students at AIESEC UK

- Course-related, engineering, science and technology placements with IAESTE UK

Volunteering in the Netherlands

Voluntary work is well worth considering if you can afford to live without any form of regular income. Most voluntary work across Europe is rewarded with free accommodation and main meals.

The European Commission (EC) funds a scheme called The European Voluntary Service (EVS) , which is a scheme aimed at people aged 18 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to work for free for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.

Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. For successful applicants, accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant and you even receive a personal allowance each month.

Language requirements

The majority of Dutch people can speak English. However, it is also important to learn basic Dutch to get by in the workplace.

Learn some key phrases before you set off by visiting BBC Languages - Dutch

Dutch visas and immigration

According to the EC, European Union (EU) citizens have the right to:

  • Move to another EU country to work without a work permit.
  • Enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages.
  • Stay in the country even after employment has finished.
  • Strong economy & job market

If you are going to work in the Netherlands, you will need a Citizen Service Number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN). This is a unique identity service number that you can apply for at your local municipality. Workers must also insure themselves against the costs of medical care.