The Dutch Action Plan 55-plus Workers

In 2013 the Dutch government and the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) announced that they would make €67 million available to help tackle the unemployment of older adults in the Netherlands through the Action Plan 55-plus Workers. Brought into fruition on the 2nd of October 2013 in Amsterdam, the UWV and the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment oversee the commitment of government funds to support older adult’s employment. The activities supported through this action plan include networking events and inspiration days, to aid older unemployed individuals to find job positions. Further initiatives include training and placement voucher bonuses. The vouchers offer the ability for 55+ job seekers to gain up to €750 worth of training if they have valid job prospects.

In an OECD case study on Ageing and Employment Policies in the Netherlands, the major challenges facing these reforms were reported to include: how to convince employers that older workers are an asset; and how to increase the low interest and insufficient knowledge of older workers amongst employers. Currently 240,000 of the 600,000 registered unemployed individuals in the Netherlands are aged between 45 and 65, and this action plan presents an opportunity for the over 50s to gain the training and experience necessary to re-join the work force.

Further Reading:

UWV and Minister Asscher present Action Plan 55-plus Workers, press release in Dutch regarding the Action Plan available at:

OECD (2014), Ageing and Employment Policies: Netherlands 2014: Working Better with Age, OECD Publishing, a case study on the Netherlands as part of a thematic review on older workers in OECD countries in English available at:

News item on the action plan from DutchNews available at: