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

Factsheet for measure NL-2020-40/1362 Updated – measures in Netherlands

National Social Package: stimulating youth employment

Aanvullend sociaal pakket: jeugdwerkloosheid

Country Netherlands , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 October 2020 – 01 October 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Amber van der Graaf (Panteia) and Eurofound
Measure added 30 October 2020 (updated 15 June 2022)

Background information

As of 1 October 2020, the Dutch government presented a third emergency package to address the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. This third package is based along three key thematic goals: continuing current support measures for enterprises and workers, stimulating investment where this is possible, and supporting adjustment to sectors and work where this is necessary. The third emergency package outlines a series of policy plans and initiatives which will be taken between October 2020 and 2022, taking a more long-term perspective.

As part of this second and third thematic goals, one of the plans presented is to develop and implement at National Social Package to supplement the existing measures for entrepreneurs, enterprises, workers, and sectors. The aim of the National Social Package is to provide longer term employment options and prospects to employers, workers, and entrepreneurs by capitalising on the new economic reality where possible. This National Social Package has four main areas:

This case examines the extra governmental support for stimulating youth employment.

Content of measure

The National Social Package involves multiple measures and plans which have yet to be implemented. As it stands, the government reserves €1.4 billion for a series of actions and investments. These investments are set to take place the aforementioned four main areas. For the specific area of stimulating youth employment, the Dutch government allocates a further €350 million to the existing budgets. A key focus area is to tackle early school leaving. Early school leavers, especially vulnerable school leavers, are disproportionately affected by the decline in employment. The package of measures to be supported by this extra budget focuses on providing extra support between educational levels and between education and work to minimise the chances of a student falling between the cracks and leaving education. The aim is keep students in education for longer to help improve their chances of finding a job on the labour market.


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

30 August 2021

The ending date of general support measures was set to 1 October 2021.

01 July 2021

The National Social Package was introduced on 28 August 2020 and the introductory letter already included the end date of 1 July 2021. This date has remained unchanged throughout the year.

Use of measure

These measures have not yet been implemented.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Children (minors)
Youth (18-25)

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
Local / regional government
Public employment service
European Funds
National 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:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


The national peak level social partners, including the employer organisation VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland, the national level trade unions FNV, CNV, and VCP, have all been closely involved in developing the three main packages of emergency measures introduced by the Dutch government since March 2020. This National Social Package has also been developed in collaboration with these peak level social partners, as well as consultation of sectoral social partners, to supplement the emergency measures. The government and social partners all recognise the need for a longer term strategy to support individuals whose job prospects are in decline or which were tenuous already and which have become worse due to the COVID-19 crisis. The position of young people has become especially unstable during this period, affecting students across educational levels, from primary school to university level.

Views and reactions

The social partner views are very positive towards this social package. They were highly involved in the initiative for the plan and have worked hard to convey the necessity for such a plan. They were involved through weekly consultations (formal as well as informal), and were strongly involved in the development of the plan as well. Trade unions, employer organisations, other social partners for specific social groups and education and training institutes all agree on the urgent necessity of supporting young people in particular during this crisis as attending school and finding school related internships have all become more difficult, increasing the risks of dropping out, early school leaving, and worsened job prospects on an already shifting labour market.



Eurofound (2020), National Social Package: stimulating youth employment, measure NL-2020-40/1362 (measures in Netherlands), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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