The second Port Conference was held on 8 November 2016, at the Prodock business centre on Amsterdam’s Moezelhavenweg. The conference theme this year was Samen werk maken van innovatie (‘Working on Innovation Together’). The conference attracted more than 100 attendees. In addition to port businesses, this included trainers, temporary employment agencies and various leading members of the community, including Achmed Baâdoud, chair of the Amsterdam Nieuw-West district council, and Amsterdam Economic Board director Nina Tellegen. The attendees discussed the future of the Port.
Most job openings in Westpoort
A survey conducted by HR services company Tempo-Team in April 2016 revealed that Westpoort is consistently home to the majority of new job openings in the Port area. ‘Software and application developers and analysts turn out to be the professional category with the largest number of vacancies, and it is worth noting that the number of new jobs is growing across the board, for people from both vocational and university backgrounds,’ says session chairman Aad van der Werf, Strategic Labour Market Adviser at Tempo-Team.
From globalisation to regionalisation
Fred Bakker – the author of the non-fiction book Hier wordt de toekomst gebouwd (‘The Future is Being Created Here’) – traces the development of the return of the manufacturing industry to the port area and the trend from globalisation toward regionalisation. We are likely to see more local production in the future, which is backed up by Bart Kuipers, Senior Researcher Port Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, in his exploration of Port of Amsterdam’s future. The Havenvisie 2030 forecasts that the port region will become a dynamic metropolitan port which combines the strengths of Amsterdam’s three strongest core assets: its world-class logistics hub, high-quality regional industry and multifaceted urban services industry.
Creating more unity
Much of the technology used in the Port is not up to date and, according to the participants in a panel discussion, information systems need to be shared on a wider level. ‘By sharing data and creating a common platform, we can work together even more efficiently – we currently operate too much as isolated entities,’ says TMG CEO Geert-Jan van der Snoek.
There is a growing need for cooperation among directors, port businesses and educational institutions.
The subsequent debate on how the City of Amsterdam and employers might create a system for the temporary exchange of staff between the public and private sectors is a fine example of an initial step towards cooperation and a concrete plan for the future.
Working together to make the impossible possible
‘Things are changing so fast in the Port that it would be apt to compare it to a film rather than a picture,’ says Achmed Baâdoud, chair of the Amsterdam Nieuw-West district council. ‘I would like to move the Amsterdam city centre to the Port and to establish the cruise terminal here. This area has the space needed as well as the labour potential – let’s make the impossible possible together. I’m all for courage in pioneering; pioneering by connecting people and places.’
The Port Conference is organised by the City of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Nieuw-West city district , Port of Amsterdam, ORAM and WerkgeversServicepunt Groot-Amsterdam, a service centre for employers in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. The purpose of the conference is to promote dialogue between port businesses and administrators and to enhance the Port’s image.