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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
06 oktober 2007

Dutch insurance company Achmea offers jobs to refugees

Achmea offers the refugees a one-year contract with normal terms and conditions. If they are suited, they are offered a real job. The company does not create special jobs for them but selects the specialists it needs in pensions and insurances.
Achmea wants its workforce to reflect the complexion of society and its customers. Van Olphen: “Our customers are colourful, so are our employees. We are creating a corporate culture which matches the talents of the individual employees regardless of their age, sex, cultural or religious background. It is scientifically proven that diverse teams are more effective and innovative.” In concrete terms this means that people of different cultures and religions can celebrate their own religious festivals.
Refugees tend not to have the fluency in the Dutch language normally required of Achmea personnel. “This makes a normal selection procedure a huge obstacle for them”, says company spokesman Marco Simmers. “But it would be a shame to reject them on these grounds. We just need a little patience and they need some extra support. We send them on a language course and once they are working with colleagues their command of the language improves in leaps and bounds.”
At the moment Achmea (22,000 employees) has 700 vacancies. Through so called ‘job matching meetings’ it is also aiming to recruit from other under-represented groups such as Muslim women. Simmers: “Achmea has to learn that women with headscarves are not sinister. These women have to learn that Achmea is a good employer.”

P+ webtip: Achmea
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