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Factsheet for measure NL-1973-1/2478 – measures in Netherlands

Sectoral training and development funds


Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 1973
Context Green Transition, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Thomas de Winter (Panteia) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 02 November 2022)

Background information

Sectoral training and development funds are set up by employer and employee organisations in a given sector or branch. These funds are based on collective labour agreements and cover individuals working in that specific sector.

O&O funds are set up in connection with a sectoral collective labour market agreement. The collective labour agreements establish the strategic goals for the O&O fund to pursue, specific skills which workers need for instance, skills required to meet future sectoral developments, etc. The goal of these funds is to help improve the sectoral labour market by training and schooling workers in a given sectoral branch. The funds are private initiatives which are managed by sectoral organisations and social partners. Workers can follow education and training via these funds which reimburse or finance different degrees of the training followed.

Content of measure

Once the collective agreement becomes mandatory and binding, all employers within a sector must contribute to the O&O fund. All employees receive training rights and facilities if their training interests fit the objectives formulated by the social partners. During restructuring, additional claims can be made on a fund if agreed by the social partners.

The funds themselves are financed predominantly through contributions from employers and employees (where the exact level of these contributions are established in collective labour market agreements), with some funds receiving financing through the European Social Fund or other social partners. A report in 2017 by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment showed that for the 85 collective labour agreements under study, 87% of financing for the O&O funds came from enterprises.

Use of measure

In 2020, according to some organisations there are around 60 O&O funds, while other organisations count some 140 funds. There tends to be a difference in how organisations define these funds. Some organisations for instance may combine several smaller, sub-sectoral funds under one sectoral fund (hence arrive at 60 organisations, while other organisations arrive at 140 or so). It is also worth noting that many are set up within sectors by private organisations such as groups of employers or employer organisations. Around 40% of all workers are covered by a training fund. Small firms (those with fewer than 50 employees) provide a lower level of training than that provided to employees of larger firms.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Other businesses
Other groups of citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds
Social partners jointly

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Unknown

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


This measure exists since the 1970s. It is unknown what the involvement of social partners was back then, but the funds are private initiatives which are managed by sectoral organisations and social partners. Workers can follow education and training via these funds which reimburse or finance different degrees of the training followed.

Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), Sectoral training and development funds, measure NL-1973-1/2478 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.