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Dutch Greenhouse grower prefers the unemployed over labour migrants
A Dutch horticultural company preferring the locally unemployed over Polish labourers not a common occurrence these days. And yet, nursery Mikhira, seasoned grower of peppers and cucumbers, is doing exactly that. "I personally find it antisocial to be working with cheap workers from Poland while in the Netherlands so many people are finding it hard to earn a decent living, says Albert Struikenkamp, who advocates the deployment of the jobless at the Leerwerk Academie. I think we can motivate a lot of local people to work in the sector on a professional level. In the end, that kind of labour might even be cheaper.
Mikhira is a Social Firm: a company that combines commercial purpose with a social purpose. Mikhira grows organically and tries to employ young people with few chances on the job market. "In horticulture we currently employ about 40,000 Polish labourers. In the Netherlands, about as many are unemployed. I think we would do well to help at least 1000 young people in getting a job.
Local government is supporting programs to stimulate the unemployed.
Publication date: 8/22/2013
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