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Retention and Atraction of Highly Skilled Talent in the Netherlands

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As part of the Flagship "Migrant Integration and Talent Attraction" initiative of the European Commission, funded via the Technical Support Instrument (TSI), this project aims to support the Netherlands in improving the attraction and retention of highly skilled graduates from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, both within the Dutch higher education system and from abroad.

The project runs from December 2023 to June 2025.


The Netherlands is currently experiencing a significant shortage of skilled professionals in STEM-related sectors, leading to a surge in unfilled vacancies. To tackle this challenge, the STEMTALENT4NL project identifies key areas for improvement, particularly in enhancing the "Orientation Year" residence permit scheme. This scheme provides a one-year stay for graduates from Dutch universities and highly skilled third-country nationals (TCNs) to seek employment or establish businesses in the country.

Project goals:

The project will enhance the Netherlands’ ability to attract and retain skilled migrants by:

  • Improving its current orientation year permit system to facilitate admission for highly skilled third-country nationals
  • Providing recommendations and lessons learned to aid in updating the talent attraction policies and therefore be in a better position to attract and retain highly skilled STEM graduates.

Project activities:

  1. A thorough review of the conditions of the Orientation Year residence permit scheme (known as ‘het verblijfsvergunning zoekjaar hoogopgeleiden’)
  2. A gap analysis to assess current talent attraction and retention mechanisms, identifying strategies to engage and retain young STEM professionals
  3. Organizing an International Study Visit to exchange knowledge and best practices around STEM talent attraction and retention mechanisms
  4. Developing an actionable plan for implementing these recommendations in both the short and long term.


For more information or relevant queries, please reach out to Sandra Kluivers, Project Assistant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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This project is funded by the European Union via the Technical Support Instrument. 

More information on the project on the website of the European Union can be found here.