Working as a data engineer after a short training programme

Business community and Saxion tap into new labour potential

In short

  • There is a significant shortage of data engineers and analysts. Saxion is working on a solution together with Twente’s business community: people who want to switch jobs can start working immediately and receive the necessary theory, practice and coaching within a year. 
  • Companies can tap into a whole new group of highly motivated potential employees focused on long-term employment by matching on personality rather than on diplomas.


Global Goal

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Waiting before you can pay at a hardware store, waiting for a waitress to bring you lunch or shops that are forced to close for a part of the day: the staff shortages are becoming increasingly noticeable. But the shortage is also threatening other sectors. Saxion University of Applied Sciences has, therefore, set up FastSwitch, in cooperation with regional companies. People with an HBO (Higher Vocational Education) thinking, education or working level can be retrained within a short time while they are already working at one of the affiliated companies in the region. The health care, construction and engineering industries have already been using this way of recruiting personnel for some time. A pilot project called ‘More Data Work’ has now started to attract data analysts and data engineers for the regional business community.

‘Leave gems on the sidelines’

“There is a large group of potential employees who are currently not being considered”, says project leader Sirona de Ruiter. “People who would like to switch jobs but do not have the right qualifications. They often end up on the ‘left pile’ when applying for a job. This is a shame because they are often the most motivated people. They have discovered the thing they would most like to do. They also have all kinds of skills that people who have just finished studying often lack because they have already been working for some time. They have tough personalities, are strong communicators, proactive and independent. People who have just finished studying have theoretical knowledge and are system-oriented, but they often lack soft skills that people who have been working for a longer time have developed. You should not leave gems like this on the sidelines just because they lack the right paper.”

Breaking down barriers

More and more companies in the region are discovering that matching based on personality is a great way to find the right people. Similar projects have started in healthcare, construction and engineering, and the data industry is now following. “We work together with Techspread to put together the right courses”, says Sirona. “We bring education, knowledge and skills together. The people who will soon be participating in ‘More Data Work’ will have a field coach and receive between six months and one year of training. They will be working for their new employer in the meantime, so they are already getting paid. One reason for people not to switch jobs is that they will not have any income during training, so this removes a barrier. You invest directly in your new employees as a company through training costs and starting salary instead of investing in costly recruitment and selection. A recruitment campaign is much more expensive, and there are many subsidy options to reduce the cost of training.” she points out. “We notice that more and more employers in healthcare and construction see that switchers are great employees. We are now drawing up a profile that employees should fit in, together with twelve companies from Twente, and which positions will be most needed in the future. It would not surprise me if all these companies are prepared to take on new people themselves in this way, given the enthusiasm. Working together to strengthen the region works!”

Employers who want to know more about Fast Switch can contact Sirona de Ruiter: or 06-13834727. More information: More data work: overview | LinkedIn and More data work – Data studies on HBO-level. More information about FastSwitch in general: FastSwitch | Saxion University of Applied Sciences 

Date: 29 June 2022 |

Source of tekst: Saxion University of applied sciences |

Author: Maaike Thüss