Expat Spouses Initiative at the Vision, Robotics & Motion Fair - © Bram Saeys
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It’s a weird phenomenon: there’s a huge shortage of trained people in high tech, and at the same time, there’s this untouched supply of talents: the spouses of all those engineers who came to work for Dutch high-tech companies. Like their partners, scouted to work in the Netherlands from across the globe, their accompanying spouses are often valuable talents for local Dutch companies. But for them, it’s hard to find the right companies, and for many SMEs they are just invisible.

To connect both worlds and open the possibilities for a potential match, Mikrocentrum invited ten expats from the Spouses Network to their Vision, Robotics, and Motion trade fair. “These accompanying spouses and partners of highly-skilled migrants, working in the Brainport Eindhoven region, are a unique pool of professionals”, explains Mikrocentrum’s Susanne Bruinsma. “Given the shortages in the current labor market, it’s mind-blowing that these highly-skilled, often experienced professionals, resilient in adapting to new environments, are overlooked in the local labor market.”

Bruinsma undertook her action as an ambassador for the Women for Women program. “From that role, I saw a nice link with the skills of the spouses and the companies at the fair, intending to increase the chances of a potential match with this visit.” The Women for Women program is an Expat Spouses initiative in cooperation with the Holland Expat Center South and is supported by the Province of North Brabant.

Kavitha Varathan is one of those expat spouses; she has been active in the network for years, helping other spouses and partners find their way in the Brainport Eindhoven region. Even after all those years, she still wonders what goes wrong. “Internationals don’t know about most of the local opportunities beyond large employers, and small-medium companies, start-ups, and scale-ups looking for talent don’t know they can access top talent that is locally available.”

Varathan helped organize the visit to the Vision, Robotics and Motion fair and is enthusiastic about it. “Activities like this help to close this gap. The professionals were engaged by the breadth and depth of innovation on display, making it possible for us to see the companies present doing their best work. And the companies present are now on the radar of several international talents in the region, so it’s really a win-win situation.”

The Vision, Robotics, and Motion trade fair is a two-day event on June 7 and 8 in the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Over one hundred leading suppliers from Benelux and Germany show their latest developments and state-of-the-art smart solutions in the field of Industry 4.0. Admission is free.

Expat Spouses Initiative at the Vision, Robotics & Motion Fair
Expat Spouses Initiative at the Vision, Robotics & Motion Fair – © Bram Saeys