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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case NL-2020-27/984 Updated – measures in Netherlands

The Netherlands keeps learning

NL Leert Door

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 July 2020 – 31 March 2021
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Enhancing employability and training
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia) and Eurofound
Case created 13 July 2020 (updated 15 July 2021)

Background information

This measure has been announced as part of package of emergency packages adopted to combat the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Following a first package of emergency measures released on 17 March 2020, a second package was released on 20 May 2020.

This is an education and training measures, designed to help workers who have lost their job due to the corona crisis to move into new work. Specifically, the measure aims to help people move into profitable or growing sectors by providing employment advice and support from local career services (often provided via municipalities), educational institutions, and sectoral schooling and development funds (O&O fondsen).

Content of measure

The measure not only hopes to help workers, but also solo self-employed people and workers with temporary or flexible employment contracts. Schooling will be provided through a variety of media, making use of online education approaches. To create awareness of the availability of this programme, the government will launch a promotional campaign as well. The measure has been tied to the NOW and NOW 2.0 measures, where employers who make use of the NOW financing are also obliged to stimulate up and re-skilling of their employees. The measure will be implemented in July 2020 and run until the end of 2020. The measure has a budget of €50 million.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 June 2021

This was the 2020 version of the NL Keeps Learning programme. The 2021 version consists of two separate programmes: "NL continues to learn through training (NLLD - S)" and "NL continues to learn with the use of sectoral customization (NLLD - SMR)".

Find the new measures here:

11 May 2021

The application period for SLIM for individual SMEs ended on 31 March 17:00.

Use of measure

The free development advice that the Government made available through the NL Leert Door scheme met a great need. From 1 August, people could request a short-term trajectory from a career counselor to gain insight into the labor market opportunities that are available to them in this recession. The maximum number of registrations was reached much faster than expected.

Within one month, 22,000 people registered. With this amount, the measure reached the limit of the number of counseling sessions that the government can pay for.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
Public employment service
Local funds
National funds
Regional funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The national government initiated this measure, together with the Association for Dutch Municipalities (VNG), and other social partners, specifically, Divosa. Divosa is an association of municipal government directors or managers who work in the social policy domains. Divosa, the VNG, and national government developed this measure, while at the regional and local levels, sectoral education funds will also be involved in re-skilling.

Views and reactions

Given their involvement in developing this measure, presumably the social partners are satisfied with the collaboration and development of such a measure.



Eurofound (2020), The Netherlands keeps learning, case NL-2020-27/984 (measures in Netherlands), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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