Dutch youth helping fellow dutch youths get higher value jobs
A Special Europe Feature on Social Innovation – Interview with Jorinde Olling, Co-Founder of De Upstarter
After Linda shared with me about Professional Rebel at the cafe at B.Amsterdam, she brought me up to their office. That was where I met Jorinde, a 25-year old, soft-spoken lady who is a bright spark.
While being on an accelerator programme with Professional Rebel, Jorinde met her co-founder and a good coach who is a high-school teacher. With the soft employment market, many Dutch youths, who do not have marketable skills or experience, get stuck in dead-end jobs like a bartendender or a waitress. Jorinde’s vision is to help youths to get better jobs with a better career path so they can reach their dreams and make a bigger impact.
Together with her coach and co-founder, she developed a programme that meets the needs of these youths and also start-ups who are resource-strapped. Her programme is built around these 4 questions to develop talent and scout for talent.
1. Who am I and what do I want?
To help the youths answer these questions, she brings in an artistic psychologist, where they explore these answers via a magazine collage. They are also encouraged to embrace who they are and build their life from their goals. Plus, they are given a challenge to get a ride by hitch-hiking to Rotterdam, a small city near Amsterdam.
2. What is a business working environment like and what do I need to get there?
Jorinde arranges for them to interview different entrepreneurs, build their network and observe how these entrepreneurs create value. This is also for the entrepreneurs to assess them and recruit them as interns.
The youths are given a questionnaire where they get an assessment of their own skills. They are also encouraged to tap on their interests since young and integrate them into their lives.
4. How do I create value?
This crucial question is posed to these youths at the end of the programme. Jorinde hopes to instill in them an entrepreneurial mindset where they can spot opportunities. They will be asked the gaps and needs they see in the companies they visited and will be challenged to approach the startups for internships to gain the skills they want to grow in, to close the gap they had.
To date, 60 youths have gone through this programme and 80% found full-time jobs after their internships. They are now focusing on different programs to build a bridge from the University to the labour market.
After talking with Jorinde, I asked to take a photo with her and to my amazement she is a few-heads taller than me, the tallest person I’ve ever met. With her determination to bring greater value to the youths and her nation, I want to see her bring De Upstarter to greater heights.
— Article by Jael Chng
Photos contributed by Jael Chng and Jorinde Olling