Dutch eCommerce industry faces shortage of employees

Dutch eCommerce industry faces shortage of employees

Dutch eCommerce companies struggle to find sufficient employees to handle the industry’s growth. More than half of the companies have job openings that can hardly be filled.

Foundation too small

The eCommerce industry currently employs 125,000 people: 20,000 have enjoyed a higher education and have a very specific set of eCommerce skills; 80,000 are support and another 20,000 are independent entrepreneurs with their own web shop.


The pool of highly educated people, including specialists online market, web shop management, logistics, software development and data analysis, is much too small.


Over the past six months, there were more than 7,800 jobs available in the industry, including 77 % for people with a higher degree of education. However, not enough people graduate in order to keep up with the industry’s growth.


More education required

“We collaborate with thirteen centers of higher education in the Netherlands, but regardless of their increased efforts to update their curriculum, we still do not have enough graduates to meet the industry’s needs. An faster expansion of the number of education paths with eCommerce capabilities is required to keep up with the Dutch business’ online growth pace”, Thuiswinkel.org’s Thuiswinkel e-Academy program manager Sophie van Rooij said.


Four out of ten employers are willing to change their demands and are willing to hire less experienced employees to fill the job openings. Additional education can be provided for at the job or after hours. Three out of ten companies are not willing to alter their demands to find employees.


While the Netherlands face a shortage, Belgium has another issue: a lot of jobs are exported abroad because of high labour costs and because people cannot work at night or on Sunday. According to trade federation Comeos, 13,000 to 15,000 jobs are lost because of this.