Some 350 employees working at DAF via Ergon received a very special visit. Minister for Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions, Carola Schouten, came on Monday to take a look at the work floor where people with a distance to the labour market are given the opportunity to participate in society. “Not the solution for the personnel shortage, but a nice initiative”, the minister said.
That it is a nice initiative is also the opinion of 65-year-old Ergon* employee Sito Panchoe. He could not find a regular job because of his heart problems, so a workplace at DAF offered a solution. “If I hadn’t had this work, I would have been sitting at home. Then I would have become isolated and my health problems would probably have gotten worse”.
People like Sito Panchoe are currently sought after by employers, Ergon’s Managing Director, Yvonne van Mierlo, says. Several industries are desperate for staff, but cannot fill their vacancies. At such times, a job agency such as Ergon is interesting for companies. “We do have to explain to employers that they should not stick to their vacancies, but look at what kind of work needs to be done and how these can help people”, Van Mierlo explains.
One of the companies that gratefully uses Ergon is DAF. The truck manufacturer has been working with the employment agency for twenty years. And by now Ergon employees play an important role in the company, according to DAF’s director of procurement Jos Smetsers. Nevertheless, there is a chance that the demand for personnel will decrease, will employees of Ergon be hit by the consequences? “No, we will then take the employees back internally and train them for the next employer”.
Anyway, Sito and his colleagues do not have to fear for their future. DAF and Ergon have extended their cooperation by three years.
Translated by: Bob
* Ed. – Ergon is an implementing body of the Social Employment Act and has been in existence for more than 40 years. Its working area covers the Eindhoven, Geldrop-Mierlo, Heeze-Leende, Valkenswaard, Veldhoven and Waalre municipalities. The company tries to help people with a large distance to the labour market, by reducing that distance through a job.