PANalytical is receiving dozens of college students in Eindhoven during the Dutch Technology Week. Maarten van Andel, director of the branch of the Philips spin-off in Eindhoven, especially wants to stimulate the students to choose a profession in technology. “Whether they come working for me, or for the neighbours, everything helps.”
Mbo On Tour
Under the name Mbo On Tour, PANalytical provides guided tours and talk sessions with the college students in which become clear what the company does, how things are done and what is needed for it. Students go into the clean rooms and engage in conversations with employees from all layers of the company. Van Andel’s company has participated in the DTW ever since the first edition. “We participate for two reasons: on the one hand it is a good opportunity to put yourself on the map as a sustainable technology company. PANalytical is a relatively small company with a relatively difficult name to pronounce. On the other hand, it is a way to give a clearer view of our sector.”
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“Going to university is a good thing, but it shouldn’t be a goal in itself.”Maarten van Andel, Director PANalytical
Van Andel underlines that the Netherlands is traditionally a trade nation. In the eighties and nineties, there was a movement in the manufacturing industry due to that ‘character’. “Suddenly everything was outsourced to countries like China. What we could do here, could be done cheaper there. Slowly but surely, the manufacturing industry came back to the Netherlands. In the eighties there were especially Asian parts in our cars, that’s turning around now. In addition, a lot of those creators gather in Brainport. We want to underline that. The DTW offers an excellent opportunity there.”
The DTW is mostly about education for PANalytical. In the conversations the students have with the director himself, Van Andel especially wants to emphasize that the employees at PANalytical come from all layers of education. “There is certainly room for college students at companies like ours. We (high-tech companies in the region) are all fishing in the same pond of talent. And there’s more water than fish, especially on that level.” It is a well-known challenge among Brainport companies: Finding talent from their own region. The Dutch education lies on the base of that challenge. “I believe there is a simpler way to arrange it. I think there are too many college directions rather than too little. If you have ten technical choices over one hundred other options, you get a certain dilution.”
By participating in the Mbo On Tour, Van Andel also wants to show that it isn’t necessarily a requirement to go to college. “Going to uni is a good thing, but it shouldn’t be a goal in itself. The government can often push going to uni too much. I think there are a lot of college students who are extremely suitable for the labour market. They can just get started.” And it doesn’t matter to Van Andel where they get started. “As long as they do it in technology. Then I’ve won a soul. That is fortunately how it works in Brainport. If one of those students starts working for the neighbours, I eventually profit from it. That’s how the ecosystem works.”
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