ASML: the Netherlands lacks technical experts

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The Netherlands is neglecting its production industry and as a result is training far too few technicians, Chief Financial Officer Peter Wennink of chip machine giant ASML says.

“There is a dramatic shortage of technical experts”, Mr Wenning said on television programme Buitenhof on Sunday morning. “The number of people who complete a technical programme is about half of what we need. And the ageing population makes the shortage all the more pressing.”

Mr Wennink called on the government to focus more on technology and innovation. “Globally half of the economic growth comes from innovation. If the Netherlands focuses more on that, it will improve its earnings model.”

The latest round of budget cuts the government is currently planning will harm basic research, Mr Wennink warned. “Cutbacks in essential research undermine one of the pillars of economic growth. We are very strong in a number of areas and high-tech is certainly one of them. We must maintain that position.”

Mr Wennink said he supports the government policy of designating a number of top areas, including the development of advanced technologies. “But words on paper at some point have to be backed up by concrete action. And that requires money.”


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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