Retaining future talents by letting them go

Keeping IT talents of the future in Twente. That is TalentIT Twente’s goal: an initiative of Twente’s business community and educational institutions. Together, they match students to companies so that young people can experience all the beautiful companies and opportunities in the region. Chairman Jeroen van de Lagemaat explains how this matching works and why it is so important.

In short:

  • There is insufficient IT staff and, with a rapidly digitising world including business in all sectors, this is only going to worsen.
  • TalentIT stimulates students to go to companies from Twente to show them what Twente has to offer.
  • Over 180 students have been placed with over 40 companies in the last two years.

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“There are not enough IT talents in the region. Students leave after their studies. HBO students, in particular, often go to the west after they finish studying. University students often come from all over the world, and they leave when their studies are done. This is a shame because they are the talents that we would love to have here. There is not enough IT staff already and, with a rapidly digitising world including the business community of all sectors, this is only going to get worse.”


“We noticed that students often do not have a clear picture of the opportunities in Twente and the companies where they can develop themselves. That is why TalentIT stimulates them to go to many companies during their studies for, for example, internships, graduation projects or even part-time jobs. We ask them questions like: ‘what drives you?’ and ‘what kind of company would you like to work for?’ to make a good match and students can experience how nice and promising this region is for them. And that they will realise how happy we are to have them in this region. Companies in this region need you. It is a positive experience for companies as well: they experience how important new impulses are within their organisations. Someone with a fresh outlook and the latest business knowledge.”

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Knowing your options

TalentIT has been active for two years now. We have placed around 180 students with more than 40 companies during those two years. And more companies are signing up. That is great because more diversity allows us to make better matches. For example, we now have an Esports student team from Saxion and the University of Twente. These students determine how games can be best played, which is all about analysing big data. In other words, these are all students who enjoy and are good at doing data analyses for companies.


They can also visit companies. This experience is essential. A study by ‘Keeping Talent in Twente’ showed that students leave after their studies because they do not know any companies here. They encounter names such as Demcon, Thales or their educational institution, but they have no idea about others. And well, if you do not know any companies to work for, you move to the Randstad where you can probably name them. TalentIT wants to make it known that you can do IT work at a broad range of companies here. There are surprising examples, such as butcher Huuskes, where the entire ordering, production, and delivery process is fully automated with an extensive in-house data centre.


Or Dynobend in Haakbsergen: they make bending machines with software that determines how far the tubes can be bent. They have more IT staff than mechanical engineers in their development department. We are increasingly hearing from students that they are looking for jobs and companies with social commitment. A place where they can improve the world, work on a cleaner environment, or make a positive impact. Many initiatives and companies in Twente fit in perfectly with this. We should work on this and show what we have to offer. We should put Twente’s culture in the spotlight more. Not like ‘Twente is the Silicon Valley of Europe’ or something like that, but simply with our strength and charm, you can work here in a pleasant and meaningful way at companies that really appreciate you.

Date: 19 July 2021 |

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