Dutch army offers better benefits for soldiers
As personnel shortages in the Dutch army increase, the ministry wants to offer extra benefits to attract over 30-year-olds to join the force.1 September 2008
THE HAGUE -- Dutch Deputy Defence Minister Jack de Vries has told parliament that personnel shortages in the Dutch army are increasing.
There are currently 7,000 situations vacant, which is 3,000 more than a year ago. Recruitment of young people into the army is difficult because it is financially more attractive to get a civilian job. The deputy minister stresses that the manpower shortages will not affect the current missions in Afghanistan and Chad.
In April the ministry launched an action plan to combat the problem so that missions would not come under pressure. The plan does not only envisage better and quicker recruitment, selection and training, but also concentrates on keeping soldiers in the army.
"We ask a lot of our troops. I will do my best to make sure that they feel they get a lot out of it." said De Vries on the ministry website in April
The plan appears to have changed a little since then. Now, the deputy minister plans to increase the number of training places in regional training centres.
The army wants to attract more over-30-year-olds and people with young families by improving the work/life balance and giving extra bonuses to soldiers who are sent out on several missions. They will also be given the opportunity of skipping a mission. However, speaking on Radio 1, De Vries said he will not lower the requirements recruits have to meet in the physical and psychological examination during selection.
The army hopes these measures will make it a more attractive employer and that potential recruits will join the army "as an investment in themselves".
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]