According to a labor market forecast published in January 2021 by the Dutch UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) and CPB (Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis), the Dutch IT sector is set to create approximately 21,000 new jobs between 2019 and the end of 2021. Moving from 352,000 jobs in 2019 to over 373,000 by the end of this year.
Despite this buoyant outlook for the IT sector, the report warns that many jobs will disappear in the Netherlands due to COVID-19. Sectors badly affected include staffing agencies, with an expected loss of 76,000 jobs; the hospitality sector with a potential loss of 59,000; and the manufacturing industry, which could lose as many as 39,000 roles. In contrast, we can expect – alongside the boom in IT jobs – an increase in employment in healthcare and welfare of approximately 65,000 roles, with another 22,000 roles created in the public sector.
One sector's loss is another's gain, as is the case for the booming IT sector, where the unique technological and business environment created by the pandemic is driving the demand for skilled IT workers. Businesses and organizations in the Netherlands have accelerated digitalization journeys as more employees work remotely and receive remote training. As such, demand for IT solutions is rising jointly with an increase in the provision of online services for various industries, particularly visible in the retail and wholesale segment.
Using data from PAC's soon-to-be-published CxO Survey data for the Netherlands, we can provide a more in-depth insight into where these new IT jobs will likely land.
Currently, the most important topics on the IT agenda for our sampled respondents (n=130), which cover a variety of Dutch businesses and organizations from different sectors, include cybersecurity (58%), cloud computing (49%), and analytics, and data management (47%). As a result, these three themes alone can expect an increase in investments over the next two years.
Core IT service lines, including testing, infrastructure operations, infrastructure-related project services (migration, optimization, etc.), application management, and SaaS scored the highest in services gaining importance over the next two years. Demonstrating a clear need amongst enterprises in the region to modernize and evolve their IT to meet shifting business challenges.
As for technologies, most respondents said that the top three investments over the next two years would be in tracking and traceability, blockchain, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).