Royal Ahrend CEO in panel discussion with State Secretary Klijnsma on social returns and the Participation Act

State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment Jetta Klijnsma will be paying a working visit to Presikhaaf Schoolmeubelen in Arnhem on 16 November. The sheltered workshop was taken over by Royal Ahrend in May this year.

An extended guided tour of the facilities will take place during the visit, after which a special panel discussion will be held on ‘the role of companies in labour participation by people who cannot easily access the employment market’. Eugène Sterken, CEO of Royal Ahrend, together with five other panellists and the State Secretary, will be part of the discussion.

Aiming for 125,000 jobs for ill and disabled people

The government and employers have agreed that additional jobs will be put aside for ill or disabled people. Employers have undertaken to create a total of 100,000 jobs for them by 2026, while the authorities will do likewise for another 25,000 people. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment will assess the progress of the jobs agreement in the third quarter of 2016. If the agreed-to number of jobs has not been achieved, then a quota levy will be implemented from 2018 of €5,000 per uncreated job a year.

Panel discussion to involve a wide range of voices

The panel discussion will see a range of panellists who are directly involved with the issue, debate with one another. The central question is how companies can play an active or more active role when it comes to labour participation by people who cannot easily access the employment market.  All the relevant points will be raised in the discussion, including the financial consequences of the Participation Act for companies and the role of social policy in the strategy, the manner in which the private and public sectors can support each other, and also Royal Ahrend’s reasoning in taking over a sheltered workshop.

The panel

The panel discussion participants are from diverse sections of society and are all involved in the subject in different ways. The following will be a part of the panel discussion:

  • Monique List – Discussion leader – former Eindhoven municipality city councillor
  • Jetta Klijnsma – Participation Act, public policy
  • Jan Bom, editor-in-chief of P+ - CSR policy for companies
  • Vera van der Horst – Social Return Advisory Centre
  • Eugène Sterken – Royal Ahrend
  • Jos Verhoeven – Start Foundation
  • Ine van Burgsteden – City councillor for Employment and Income, municipality of Arnhem

The invitees

Numerous interested parties are to be invited to the meeting, including customers and prospects, heads of educational institutions, politicians (relevant councillors in municipal executives), the national, regional and special interest media, and the management members of Presikhaaf and Royal Ahrend.

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