Eindhoven (population 203,229) is the epitome of the Dutch Brainport region, declared the world’s smartest region in 2011. It is home to many leading high-tech firms, and is a key player in The Netherlands’ transition from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources. While it is home to thousands of tech and IT companies facing a growing shortage of personnel, there is also an increasing number of residents who struggle to keep up with technological growth and its related occupational demands. This growth paradox is central to the Passport4Work (P4W) project, in which promoting the influx of appropriate staff into growth sectors coincides with enabling those at risk of being left behind.
In essence, P4W represents a highly personalized and gamified online platform, through which individuals are guided in the development of their skill-based passport for work (by means of gamified assessment). In P4W, the city of Eindhoven targets specific groups of beneficiaries, for which there is a high sense of urgency. These include those with a relative distance to the labour market in terms of their educational attainment, and employment history.
While Passport4Work’s purpose was not specifically designed around the energy transition, two of its three identified targeted growth sectors – construction and technology, accompanied by healthcare – play a large part in its realization. To illustrate, the Dutch energy transition is reflected by the Eindhoven project “gas-free neighborhoods”. P4W contributes to this project by facilitating the provision of staff for the construction sector (to work as solar panel installers, for instance). In this way, we see that the city’s approach to skills fits within its wider Climate Strategy, which links to the Roadmap 2 pooint in our main report.
The project consortium comprises ten public-private organizations, ranging from industry representatives, public employment services, a platform developer as well as a university.