Minister van Gennip op werkbezoek bij De Hoop Terneuzen

18 October 2022

The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Karien van Gennip, was on a work visit at De Hoop Terneuzen on October 10, 2022. She visited to observe the collaboration between the business sector and the regional mobility team in practice and to inform herself about the labor market issues in Zeeland, particularly in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, with specific attention given to De Hoop's internal Mobility Team.

In January 2022, Groep De Hoop initiated a collaboration with the Zeeuws Mobiliteitsteam (Zeeland Mobility Team) to provide job opportunities for those distanced from the labor market. Groep De Hoop has vacancies for drivers and offers job guarantees upon the completion of training. The Zeeuws Mobiliteitsteam supplies candidates and finances the training for becoming a truck driver with License C and Code95, thus enabling people from various target groups to secure employment. The backgrounds of the drivers are very diverse, including job seekers on unemployment benefits, refugees with residence permits, or recipients of WIA or Wajong benefits, as well as job seekers through a reintegration process. Minister van Gennip noted how inspiring it is that Groep De Hoop fills driver vacancies and offers job seekers opportunities in this manner. During the work visit, discussions were held about Ferdinand, one of the drivers within Groep De Hoop who has successfully completed the training.

"My situation is quite unique," says Ferdinand. "After a long period of disability, February 2020, at the age of 57, was a turning point for me. That month I underwent surgery, and in the months that followed, the medical issues that kept me out of the work process gradually disappeared. I felt better and fitter every day after the surgery. By mid-June 2020, I informed the UWV, in collaboration with the Zeeuws Mobiliteitsteam, about my progress and expressed my desire to return to work. In consultation with the UWV and HR department of De Hoop, an appropriate position was internally sought."

To provide a warm welcome and an optimal start for lateral entry drivers, a mobility team within De Hoop focuses on coaching and guiding the drivers. "In September, I was trained on the bulk truck. The training process was extremely solid. Three very experienced drivers trained me thoroughly, and I have been independently on the road for two weeks now. I regard my direct colleagues as a point of reference and can rely on them when needed," says Ferdinand. "I am more than satisfied with the collaboration between the Zeeuws Mobiliteitsteam and De Hoop. I receive a lot of support, cooperation, and trust from both parties. This has made it possible for me to start a new career at the age of 59; you're never too old to start over."