Like other cities and regions in Europe, Amsterdam has faced a significant influx of refugees in recent weeks, particularly from Syria. Our primary concern is to ensure that these refugees are received properly after their long and difficult journey from a war zone to our country. We are therefore focusing on immediate short-term relief: shelter, food and places to sleep. After the initial reception of the refugees, attention will turn to the asylum procedure and the application for official refugee status. If and when refugee status is granted, a period of settlement and integration will follow.

Please note that this action plan is one of the many efforts Amsterdam government is currently undertaking for example in terms of short term relieves.

Description of the initiative

We have been discussing a range of possible action points with VNO-NCW, Randstadgroep Nederland, ROC Amsterdam, Projob, VU University Amsterdam, THNK and HvA-UvA. Together with these partners, we have drawn up an action plan which we can summarize as follows:

  • begin language training and the accreditation of diplomas as quickly as possible;
  • identify skills and talents among the members of the group as early as possible, and identify vacancies at the company level in cooperation with VNO-NCW, the Employers Service Point for the Amsterdam Region, and employment agencies. This will increase the chances of swift and appropriate matching between those with refugee status and employers;
  • encourage entrepreneurship with our partners by means of an accelerator programme;
  • we will ask central government to launch an experimental scheme.

Implementation of the initiative

The partners are mentioned above. The whole programme is managed by the local government, making use of private actors and initiatives as much as possible.

Resources dedicated to the initiative

Financial sources are yet to be decided upon. All the partners bring in human resources. The local government has dedicated about five Full Time Equivalent (FTE) in the programme team.

Targeted achievements

Number of refugees reached by the initiative: We plan to start out with a pilot group of approximately 90 people. At this point we have about 700 refugees waiting for housing facilities in Amsterdam. Every week there is an influx of about 2500 in the Netherlands, of which a (smaller) part will later on be appointed to the Amsterdam region.

Critical success factors

Project at a too early stage to give a meaningful response

Biggest obstacles

Project at a too early stage to give a meaningful response