House of Skills came under the umbrella of the Amsterdam Economic Board as a program in April 2021. More than six months later, general director Nina Tellegen and program director Annelies Spork explain how the collaboration is going.
Why did House of Skills become part of the Board as a program and what are the challenges?
Nina: “Both organizations are public-private partnerships with partly the same partners. It is therefore more efficient, effective and economical to form one organization. There is also an important substantive consideration. Everything we do as Board, we do for the smart, green, healthy future of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. A CO2-neutral, circular region, in which we live longer and healthier. A reliable, sustainable digital society, in which we develop everyone’s talents and strengths – and therein lies the crucial link with House of Skills.”
Annelies adds: “To realize all this, the talent of many people is needed now and in the future. This is insufficiently successful in the way the current education and labor market is set up. The challenge is a flexible and future-oriented labor market. Educational institutions and employers should pay more attention to the skills and talents that someone has, not just the diplomas. The working population must gain insight into their skills and know which training and work are appropriate.”
How did the integration of House of Skills into the Board organization go?
Nina: “We have a surprising number of similarities in terms of working method and approach. That helps. Integrating two organizations is already difficult under normal circumstances. Corona doesn’t help with that. We mainly get to know each other online. That works very differently, compared to meeting in person in the office at the coffee machine. We still need to take some steps in the area of integration. In the coming period we will organize ‘unexpected’ meetings to get to know each other better. The month of December is very suitable for this.
It is nice and good to see that House of Skills is on the agenda during consultations with the members and partners of the Amsterdam Economic Board. And that as a result, substantive links and collaboration are growing in various programmes. My aim is to further strengthen this in the coming period.”
“A reliable, sustainable digital society, in which we allow for the development of everyone’s talent – and therein lies the crucial link with House of Skills.”
Annelies will retire next year and will therefore stop as program director of House of Skills on 1 December. Artie Ramsodit will succeed her. What do you want Artie to know?
Nina: “I wish Artie fun and wisdom. House of Skills is a wonderful program. I also wish her patience. You need that to initiate structural changes in this complex playing field.”
Annelies: “House of Skills is a meaningful programme. It contributes to the development of talent, tinkering with existing structures and vested interests. That sometimes creates resistance. As Nina says, be patient. I would also say take your time. If not to the right, then to the left, sometimes a step back. And occasionally check if everyone is still following you.”