The Ministry of Defence wants to experiment with a ‘voluntary servant‘. In this way, people can get acquainted with the military world. Secretary of State Van der Maat writes to the House of Representatives that he wants to improve the staffing with these and other measures.
Defence has been struggling with staff shortages for years and the current number of 47,900 full-time jobs is planned to increase to 54,400 over four years.
Experiences in other countries
According to Van der Maat, good experiences have already been had in Scandinavian countries and Israel with a year of service, in which people voluntarily report. This year, the Secretary of State will come up with a plan of action. In doing so, he mainly focuses on the fields within Defence in which staff shortages are greatest, such as technology and health care.
In order to bring in and keep staff, the Defence wants to conclude more ‘study deals’ in which the ministry pays for the training. Staff will also be exchanged more often with the business community, closer cooperation with schools and more appointment and binding premiums will be paid. Furthermore, the Secretary of State wants more reservists and he also sees robotization and other tools as possibilities.
Worst option imaginable
Van der Maat calls it the worst option imaginable that in a few years the Defence will not have enough staff to carry out its assignment.
According to the Secretary of State, the war in Ukraine has pushed Europe and the Netherlands to the facts: “The deployment of soldiers is not only a choice to participate in missions, but also the harsh reality of a war on the European continent. It is not without reason that the cabinet has decided to invest in Defence.”