Better connection to the job market

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Action plan

Collaboration of education and job market

On the basis of four work packages, the zone works with the professional field, research and education to improve the connection between higher education and the labour market. These work packages are:

  • (Inter)national developments
  • Strategy and policy
  • Future-proof competence profiles
  • Collaboration between education and business

Below you find the 2021 action plan for the zone.

The plan

Goals for 2020

Four working packages

In 2020, the zone has delivered a number of products and was able to start a number of initiatives. We’ll continue this line in 2021 and 2022. For the plans of 2021, there is both a substantive focus and a focus on community building per work package. The substantive focus per working package has been drawn up with the entire team. For example, input was collected during discussions with the responsible director and the team discussions of the zone. Overall the zone will focus on the following matters:

  • We look at each working packages from a broad perspective: from education, but also from what the labour market needs (think of AI, IT in the government, public values). We do this through, among other things, interviews and sessions with the labour market;
  • Each work package leads to concrete results and products. We primarily apply this to institutions that participate in our zone, but also other institutions that are not connected. The various institutions describe in their own action plan how they’ll make this transition. We’ll also discuss this with each participating institution.

In addition, the zone works on sharing knowledge and connecting stakeholders and experts from various educational institutions and sectors. In more concrete terms, we work on:

  1. Community building between directly involved educational institutions in the zone and other educational institutions during a working conference in 2021 and 2022. The working conference in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic;
  2. Informing educational institutions outside the zone about developments in coordination with the communications team of the Acceleration Plan;
  3. Validate, refine and enrich outcomes with the zones of Professional development, Flexible education, Digital (open) educational resources and Evidence-informed educational innovation with IT.
Goals for 2023

Productive collaboration between work field, research, and education

The productive collaboration between the professional field, education, and research in the field of digitalisation are central to this zone. To this end, we’re developing (working) methods and ensure that higher education and the labour market are optimally coordinated. We’re doing this in four work packages. In concrete terms, this means we’re:
  • Gaining insight into national and international stakeholders of digital developments in relation to education, professionals and the labour market;
  • Making strategic and policy advice available for higher education institutions to prepare students for the professional digital demands placed on them;
  • Developing and delivering a toolbox that higher education institutions and companies can use to provide training and workers with future-proof digital skills;
  • Gaining insight into which forms of cooperation between education and business are appropriate, with a focus on hybrid learning environments.
Preconditions for success


  1. Involving the professional field. Our zone is about improving the connection between education and the labour market. An important condition for success is that we do this together with the people concerned: the professional field. We’ll involve the professional field in our zone meetings, in our surveys, and in sessions to test and sharpen our products.
  2. A broad representation of (higher) educational institutions. In order to achieve our higher goal (improving the connection to the labour market), it’s necessary for a broad representation from educational institutions to participate in the initiatives we undertake as a zone. Not so much as a zone member, but in the testing grounds, interviews, focus groups, and other events we organise. Involving universities requires extra attention. For this, we have formulated concrete interventions and actions.
  3. One step further than products and tools. As a zone, we’ll deliver a nice toolbox with useful tools for educational institutions to improve the connection to the labour market. It doesn’t stop there: a condition for success is that these tools are also widely used and that we find a way of working to exchange knowledge and improve this tool (a learning community).
Usability of results and dissemination

Concrete results and working towards a toolbox

In the various work packages, our zone always focuses on how the results can be useful for educational institutions. We also develop the products in consultation with other educational institutions and we sit down with various industry organisations. The products we deliver are accessible, attractive to use, and have a good user design. In addition, the theme from the zone will be continued in the learning community, even after the zone has seized to exist (the Acceleration Plan ends 31 December 2022). In this community people are connected and the tools can be used. In 2021, we’ll also develop or partially reuse a number of personas from other zones, in order to connect well with our different target groups. The Learning analytics and Professional development zones contribute to this. The products that are developed in the zone will be made accessible in a toolbox.


Looking back at 2019

The team worked on an initial inventory in the field of future-proof competence profiles, qualification for the digital job market, front-runner companies, and co-innovation. 12 cases from 7 different institutions, were analysed and compared for commonalities. These cases all have a favourable effect on the connection to a changing job market. The analysis will be delivered in January/February 2020 in four different reports. A description of the four different work packages can be found below.

Work package 1 Future-proof competence profiles: Three methods will have been compared on creating and maintaining future-proof competence profiles.

Work package 2 Digital job market qualification: Four methods will have been compared on how higher education institutions translate job market needs into education for current and new target groups.

Work package 3 Front-runner companies: Two methods have ben compared on how higher education institutions organise cooperation with the professional field to incorporate knowledge of frontrunner companies into education quicker.

Work package 4 Co-innovating: Three methods have been compared on collaboration between companies, education, and research to realise digital innovations.


AI & Human capital: balance between hard and soft skills

29 June 2021 Strengthening digital human capital David Otten

June 2021 is the month of AI in education. In his blog, David Otten looks at it from the area of human capital.

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Job market connection zone becomes Human capital zone

29 April 2021 Strengthening digital human capital Editors

The zone Better connection to the labour market zone has a new name: Strengthening digital human capital. With this, the zone wants to emphasise its ...

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Results focus group Hybrid Learning Environments

10 February 2021 Strengthening digital human capital Lonneke Brands

On 1 February, the Better connection to the job market zone met in a focus group with various participants about hybrid learning environments.

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Report Data-driven connection labour market

21 January 2021 Strengthening digital human capital David Otten

How can you better use data for the connection between training and the professional field? You can read this in the report Data-driven connection to ...

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Job market connection zone starts focus group and is looking for participants

16 December 2020 Strengthening digital human capital Editors

The Better Connection to the Job Market is starting a focus group for the validation of recommendations to organise the collaboration between education and the ...

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Action plan zone 2020 Job market connection

Strengthening digital human capital

Based on five work packages, this zone works with the professional field, research and education ...

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Action plan zone 2019 Job market connection

Strengthening digital human capital

Productive cooperation between the professional field, education, and research in the field of digitisation is ...

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