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Higher opportunities in the labor market

The project started in September 2018 in Deventer with students with various training backgrounds. The focus was on preparing for approaching the labor market.

The start-up to work course aims to prepare participants for the labor market. As a reintegration advisor and career coach with an educational background, Nelie van der Velde has always been interested in the target group of permit holders and non-native speakers. In 2017 she worked as a language coach on a project with status holders in a catering company. "There I also became involved with this target group with my heart." When TopTaal asked for a project to be set up in the municipality of Deventer in February 2018, she did not hesitate for a moment. This provided the impetus for the 'Start-up to work' project.

The combination of language and work increases the chance of success

Nelie discovered that there are many motivated students within TopTaal who make a great effort to learn the Dutch language. But that taking steps towards work in practice is a major barrier for many non-native speakers. Language teaching alone is not enough. "Together we set to work to make a link between language education and support in approaching the Dutch labor market."

The project started in September 2018 with six students with very different training backgrounds. The focus was on preparing for approaching the labor market. "For example, the students have mapped out their qualities, skills and career values, a resume, a cover letter and a LinkedIn profile have been created and people have presented themselves by means of a pitch," says Nelie.

After this first, more preparatory, part, there was ample attention for the practical side, such as expanding the social network and practicing with job interviews and network interviews. There was an active search for work experience places, volunteer work and paid work.


During the course it appeared that many foreigners are hindered by the idea that they do not have sufficient command of the language and that this must first be improved before the step to the labor market can be made. “While,” says Nelie, “it is precisely the combination of language and work that increases the chance of success.” Nelie proudly says that in addition to the fact that three students found a job during the process, the awareness that DOEN and herself are in control is the most important result of the course.

“TopTaal is a wonderful organization that is constantly looking for the combination of language and the job market. A great approach to give non-native speakers more opportunities to participate in our society. I have contributed to this with great pleasure. ”

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