Lack of important new skills or know-how among nearly a quarter of Dutch employees

Some 23 percent  of all Dutch employees state they lack new skills and know-how needed to perform well in their work, including technological and organisational skills and know-how. Employees who claim this are less satisfied, they are ill more often and they suffer more often from burn-out complaints. This is shown by the first results from the Dutch Working Conditions Survey of 2014 (NEA NWCS 2014) published today by Statistics Netherlands and TNO.

Obsolescence of knowledge prevalent in information and communication

When the skills and know-how of employees do not keep pace with organisational and technological changes, qualification become  outdated or obsolete. This phenomenon is relatively common in the sector information and communication, where over 27 percent claim to lack important new skills and know-how mainly because technical developments are so fast paced. Relatively many ICT, database and network specialists stated that their work has changed to a point where they require new skills and know-how for their  work.

In construction many employees likewise claim to lack important new skills and know-how. This pertains to electricians and plumbers. People working in car repairs, advertising and marketing research and in industrial design also claim relatively often that they do not have new skills and know-how. Yet in transport and storage, hotels and restaurants, and agriculture and fisheries there are very few employees who claim to lack new skills and know-how.


Not a matter of age of less education

Highly educated people face outdated or obsolete qualifications slightly more often than less well-educated people. The age gap is greater though, where the very youngest and oldest employees are the least likely to claim a lack of new skills and know-how. One issue among young people is that they often have a starter or small job on the side below their level of qualification. Employees over 65 are often relatively less well educated, and often work few hours on flexible contracts in transport and logistics, as taxi drivers, couriers or newspaper deliverers.


More burn-out complains and absenteeism among employees lacking crucial new skills

Employees who indicated that they lack new skills and know-how tend to be absent more often. With 4.7 percent, their rate of absenteeism is well above the average of employees claiming to have sufficient skills and know-how (3.4 percent). Employees with obsolete qualifications also suffer relatively often from burn-out and they are less satisfied about their work: over 12 percent is even dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.


More results of NWCS 2014

A selection of the NWCS results by sex, age, sector, origin and labour contract scan be found on CBS StatLine. At  there is an interactive benchmark tool and an overview of interactive visualisations about specific themes such as agression at work, sustainable employability and regional differences. You can download future publications about the NWCS 2014 here as well.