The Technology Pact
Our society is facing many challenges that require technological solutions. Engineering and technology are an intrinsic part of day-to-day life. It is vital to ensure a good infrastructure, fair food production and a sustainable energy supply. For some time now, employers have been saying that they are finding it difficult to find suitable technically trained employees and that they expect this problem to grow worse in the near future. To achieve a structural resolution to this situation, more than 60 parties (including the VSNU) signed the National Technology Pact (Nationaal Techniekpact) in 2013. The parties that signed up to the pact, consisting of parties from the business sector, education and government, have agreed to join forces, link projects and fast-track action.
In recent years, the Technology Pact partners have combined and continued the development of national, regional and sectoral technology initiatives. The annual progress report and the 2018 Monitor (Dutch only) show that more young people are opting for careers in engineering and technology, as well as that the number of science and technology students in higher education is increasing, among other things.
The Technology Pact continues to be just as urgent as it always has been. In the years ahead, steps will be taken to build on the solid foundations that the Technology Pact has established. The Technology Pact partners, including the VSNU, have set out their commitment for the years ahead in the Nationaal Techniekpact: Focus en versnellen [‘National Technology Pact: focus and fast-track’]. There are four urgent themes that require a collective effort if fast-tracked results are to be achieved:
- increase intake for engineering and technology programmes;
- increase the involvement of the business sector in engineering and technology education;
- promote lifelong development in engineering and technology;
- reduce the shortage of teachers in engineering and technology; for example, via the use of hybrid teachers.