Don't Lose International Graduates to West, Warns Wittenborg CEO at CleanTech Tomorrow Business Day
Wittenborg CEO, Maggie Feng, was recently one of the speakers at the Cleantech Tomorrow Business Day, which was attended by more than a thousand visitors at the Teuge Airport, close to Apeldoorn.
Feng joined entrepreneurs, managers, students and representatives from the education sector as well as government – all in pursuit of creating a sustainable environment and a clean economy.
Her message to businesses engaging in clean technology was that there is no growth without the creation of an “international-friendly” work and thought environment. “There is a lot of international talent in and outside the Netherlands. Universities of Applied Sciences work hard in bringing these talents here.”
However, Feng warned, a lot of international graduates leave the east of the country to go west where an English-speaking staff and work environment almost goes without saying. “That has to change. And soon,” she said in an interview before the event.
Feng spoke about the effect of technological advances on the labour market in the future and the shortage of highly skilled tech personnel.
“Young people need to be encouraged to study technology. The idea that studies in technology – along with economy, law and medicine – will contribute to a successful future, has not yet been sufficiently integrated into Dutch society.”
The CleanTech Business Battle, which saw hundreds of students from the region compete in designing sustainable solutions for the circular economy, was won by two students from Wittenborg’s neighbouring institution, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, for their designer furniture made of 90% recycled waste products.
by James Wittenborg