New report: Data centers impact millions of jobs in Dutch economy

New report: Data centers impact millions of jobs in Dutch economy

11 March, Amsterdam – Today, trade association Dutch Data Center Association (DDA) and Mercer, leading professional services firm in Strategy and People, present their report “Building the Data Center Workforce of the Future”. The report shows that data centers impact millions of jobs in the Dutch digital economy. 

According to DDA, data centers have a significant and growing impact on the employment in the Dutch digital economy. “One may not realize it, but every single person makes use of data center services every day. Especially now that we are forced to work from home, we experience how much we need digital services to help us do our jobs. In fact, millions of jobs are dependent on the smooth running of data centers and this will only increase over the years,” says Eline Stuivenwold, DDA policy maker Education and Employment. 


Finding personnel a serious issue

As the demand for data center services increases, so does the need for personnel.  In the future, co-location data centers alone expect to need 46% more personnel between 2020 and 2025. For hyperscale data centers such as Google and Microsoft, the expectation is even higher, with an expected growth in employment of 165%. In addition to jobs in the data center facility itself, the growth of data centers also generates employment in adjacent industries, such as construction and installation.

 The demand for data center personnel causes serious challenges as there is a growing shortage of qualified staff. Stuivenwold: “technical talent is high in demand, while supply is little. Data centers need to compete with other industries that are usually far more established as employers in comparison to the young, unexplored data center industry. If we want to bridge the gap, it is important that we proactively take measures on an industry level.” 


Bridging the gap

Data centers are currently forced to take part in the “war for talent”. Chris Upjohn, Commercial Leader at Mercer, emphasizes that data centers can step out of the warzone by adopting a pro-active workforce approach: 

“Employers in the data center industry will need to shift from a reactive approach to an impactful strategy that will help them to attract and retain the talents they need, now and in the future”. And it’s not just about pay, continues Upjohn “Data centers need to think about the kind of employer they want to be. What differentiates them from other industries? In what sense do they provide work with purpose? What should the employee experience look like? A clear proposition will be vital for the industry in building the workforce of the future.” 


Data centers fundamental for 2,1 million jobs 

The report emphasizes that the employment of data centers goes far beyond the employment in the facilities: aside from the 11.000 people working in and around data centers, the industry enables a large amount of employment in the digital economy. The report shows that as many as 22.600 jobs are created in the digital infrastructure and 109.000 jobs in the tech industry. Finally, data centers are fundamental to 2,1 million employees that rely on digital services for more than 50% of their working day. 

“It is therefore vital that the government acknowledges the importance of data centers as a vital part of the Dutch digital strategy and as employers of the future,” says Stuivenwold. “It is the only way the Netherlands can safeguard its position as digital leader.” 


The report is freely accessible via this link


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