Platform TOMAS enables smarter investment in local talent

• Rising number of vacancies increased threat to digital and energy transition • Bundling 120+ talent development initiatives should prevent landscape fragmentation and ensure more people with the right skills • First step in more efficient and effective tailor-made investments to further promote the influx of local talent with the right skills.

Online matching platform TOMAS – Talent Development Match & Select – is fighting the increasing shortages on the labor market. With the bundling of 120+ talent initiatives in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA) on ‘VraaghetTomas’, the makers want to offer insight into – and provide access to – the complete landscape of talent development. These insights should enable data-driven policy, so that locally more efficient and effective ‘tailor-made’ investments can be made in talent development.

The platform enables the business community, education and governments to seek and find collaborative partners for talent development, so that supply and demand for retraining, further training and talent development are better matched. For example, more people with the right skills must end up in the right place and ‘lifelong learning’ is stimulated.

More than 2 million vacancies are expected in the Netherlands by 2026. About 16% of these are in the MRA. In technical professions in particular, a growing staff shortage is caused by excessive outflow due to an aging population and a limited influx. Urban challenges such as the digital transformation and the energy transition will suffer as a result. Also, a growing proportion of the workforce does not have skills that will be needed in the future.

“It is essential for our Amsterdam metropolitan region that our residents continue to develop. Talent development is also necessary to, among other things, shape the energy transition and to combat staff shortages. TOMAS provides an overview of the many talent development initiatives in our region, so that supply and demand are better matched. Because whether it concerns retraining or retraining, financing options or lateral entry: we can make a future-proof labor market by finding each other. TOMAS makes that easy,” said Victor Everhardt, alderman for Finance and Economic Affairs of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

Fragmented landscape requires more efficient and effective investment

Talent development initiatives are there to further promote the influx of talent with the right skills, but then they must function optimally. ‘’ is intended to enable data-driven policy, enabling more efficient and effective tailor-made investments in talent development.

“A lot has been done in recent years to combat the mismatch in the labor market: public-private partnerships, programmes, new training courses, networks and organisations. For example, in the MRA there are more than 75 initiatives that contribute in various ways to ‘lifelong learning’ in the field of energy transition. Good steps have been taken, but it is also often fragmented, small-scale and initiatives exist side by side. We hear stories that companies in the region are approached up to 12 times a month by different initiatives with the same question. This is at the expense of the core of talent development initiatives: effectively preparing talent with the right skills for the labor market of tomorrow,” says Natalija Counet, Talent Lead at the Amsterdam Economic Board.

TOMAS’ ambition: to join forces

To build bridges and connecting roads, TOMAS wants to complete the first 50 collaborations by 2022. Collaborations that ensure the right decisions towards a better match between supply and demand for talent, with a focus on inclusive and diverse teams.


TOMAS – Talent Development, Match & Select – links supply and demand of all options for retraining, further training and talent development, by offering an overview and access to all talent initiatives in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. TOMAS is a professional matching platform to work together for a lifetime of development. The platform is an initiative and collaboration of the Amsterdam Economic Board , the Municipality of Amsterdam , Digital Society School HvA , Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA bureau) and StartupAmsterdam .

TOMAS in the media

AGConnect published an interview with Natalija Counet (in Dutch).

16 November 2021

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