The corona crisis brought much uncertainty, especially in the field of employment. Figures from the UWV do show, however, that Twente is much less affected than other parts of the Netherlands. In April, the number of people on unemployment benefit increased by 15%, compared to the month before. This was almost 17% nationally.
Some sectors were affected more than others; the hospitality, sports & recreation, culture, employment agencies and the passenger transport sectors have gone through a difficult period. Nevertheless, the Twente companies joined forces and started many great new initiatives. It was during this period that the Twente companies showed what it means to be a community, how to collaborate and how to connect.
The coronavirus does not only bring negativity. Some companies focus on new opportunities during a time like this. Beyond Meat, an American producer of veggie burgers, announced that they are opening a factory in Enschede, for example. Ingredients for vegetarian meat will soon be produced here so that they can be processed in the factory in Zoeterwoude.
Also, Global Electronics B.V. recently announced that they will expand their production capacity in Haaksbergen. The company produces high-tech electronics for high-end applications, and they assemble high-quality electronics for customers in various industries. This step was taken partly because of the corona outbreak. The vulnerability of the world economy was exposed even more during this period. Products from abroad could not be delivered to many companies due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, and Global Electronics was one of those. They can significantly increase their capacity thanks to the extra production line; the new machine can process 100,000 components per hour. “We can meet the growing demand with this”, says Meino Toering, director of Global Electronics B.V.
With these efforts, both companies provide more employment in Twente.