Nienke Meijer - Foto © Rien Meulman
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Two new Technology Masters at Fontys

In a 200-signature document, the Brainport region agreed to double the number of graduates in technology and IT by 2025. This is desperately needed because of the great shortage of technicians on the labour market. Brainport, because of the role of the high-tech manufacturing industry, is extra vulnerable in this area.

Fontys chair and Brainport board member Nienke Meijer will officially present the agreements on Monday at the opening of Dutch Technology Week. For the signatories of the Brainport Talent & Skills Agreement, the agreement is a concrete follow-up to the Brainport National Action Agenda, which was presented to the Cabinet last year. Meijer: “The special thing about this agreement is that it is not the authorities but the managers and the CEOs themselves who have signed the document in their personal capacity. That makes it a personal commitment for each of them.” Meijer calls this a typical Brainport: “Personal involvement and with the cooperation of the business community, government and education sector”.

The impact will be considerable, says the Fontys chair. “With those 200 signatories, a scale is immediately realised. These 200 administrators are responsible for more than half a million inhabitants, for more than 200,000 pupils and students and for more than 200,000 employees. That, too, makes this agreement really different from what is happening elsewhere in the country.” Meijer expects that the agreements will lead to even more “cross-sectoral learning opportunities” for employees in the region. “We are really paving the way for lifelong learning. And we accept that, as a result, an employee may sometimes be likely to look for a new job at another company.”

New master’s programmes

The Teaching Agreements apply for primary, secondary, vocational and higher education. Fontys is immediately making a contribution to the promise with the launch – in September 2019 – of two new Masters: one aimed at deepening the knowledge for people who already have a technical background, the other especially for people who want to make a switch to technology from a completely different environment.