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EU support for re-integration of Dutch military personnel into the labour market

    Date: 10 July 2019
  • The European Investment Fund (EIF) will participate in a Social Impact Bond focusing on the reintegration in the labour market of incapacitated military personnel of the Dutch Army.
  • Over 1.500 former military personnel foreseen to be enrolled in the programme.
  • The EIF’s participation is supported under the Investment Plan for Europe (EFSI), better known as the Juncker Plan.

During a ceremony at the national military museum of The Netherlands, the European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed a EUR 10 million commitment in the Social Impact Bond “Joining Forces” (the “SIB”). The goal of the SIB is to help secure employment, financial stability, and improve mental health and overall wellbeing of incapacitated military personnel of the Dutch Army, by giving them on-the-job-training and coaching to reintegrate them back into civilian life.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, and managed by INCLUSIF, the SIB will now attain a size of EUR 16.7 million, which would allow it to support over 1.500 participants to the scheme. The EIF’s participation is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments under the Juncker Plan.

Our goal is to find suitable jobs for our colleagues, either within or outside the armed forces. The important thing is that we accompany our people through a difficult period the best way we can. We commit to that because that is what a good employer should do. Especially an employer like the Defence Ministry. Our armed forces are built on the boundless dedication of its people, both to each other and towards the organisation. That is a great good, and we have to handle it with care and responsibility.” stated Barbara Visser, Dutch Secretary of State for Defence.

Laurina Nieukerke, managing director and Founder of INCLUSIF said: We’re determined to help improve sustainable employment for military personnel into civilian life. We believe strongly in this multi-stakeholder approach, as well in this public-private partnership. We believe this is the way to drive social innovation. We keep on creating opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives, where investments can generate financial returns through helping meet pressing social challenges.

First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said: “I warmly welcome this valuable agreement, which will provide much-needed support to incapacitated military personnel as they seek to re-enter the civilian workforce after having served their country. This project is a powerful demonstration of how the European Investment Fund can support social programmes in the EU.”

EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith, said: “When military personnel can no longer serve, this changes not only their job, but their lives as a whole. The reintegration of military personnel into the labour market is an often-overlooked issue and I am glad that the EIF, thanks to the support of the Juncker Plan, can contribute towards alleviating this issue. Using this “payment by results” scheme encourages the development of cost-effective solutions for this important social issue and we look forward to seeing similar schemes in other European countries as well.”

On “SIB Joining Forces”

The intervention is structured through a service programme that will provide placement in jobs and employment training based on the principles of Individual Placement & Support “first place, then train”, instead of the current pre-employment training. This ‘placement' period provides tailored-made training and support with various coaches, developing his/her motivation, prospects for the future and his/her self-management skills, and involving the candidates’ social environment. The focus on intensive support during the first 15 months will reinforce the relevant skills for long-term employment. Following this period, supervision will continue in order to support and monitor both candidate and employer, to remain in employment or toward a new employment. 1,536 military personnel, divided in four cohorts over four years, are currently foreseen to be enrolled in the programme. If managed on target, the four cohorts in the programme would also decrease the costs associated with current unemployed military personnel.

Background Information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

This agreement has been made possible thanks to the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan. Its support increases the EIB Group’s capacity to finance investment projects that, in line with the Juncker Plan’s criteria, fosters the EU competitiveness and create new jobs. The Juncker Plan focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment, and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The EFSI provides first loss guarantees, enabling the EIB to invest in more projects that often come with greater risks.. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI are expected to mobilise EUR 408.4 billion in investments. The Plan is currently supporting 952,000 SMEs in the 28 Member States. More information on the results of the Investment Plan for Europe is available here.

Created in 1813, the Dutch Ministry of Defence has the responsibility for protecting the territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and her allies, protecting and enhancing the international legal system and stability, and supporting civil authorities in maintaining order, in case of emergencies and in giving humanitarian aid, both national and international. The Ministry holds responsibility for over 44.000 active duty staff, as well as reserve forces, paramilitary and some 18.000 civilian staff.

Press contacts:

EIB Group:
Tim Smit
+352 691 286423

European Commission:
Annikky Lamp
+32 (0) 229 56151

Kingdom of The Netherlands, Ministry of Defence:
Saskia van den Dungen
+31 6 511 42 495

Laurina Nieukerke
+31 6 145 79 480


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