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EINDHOVEN - There is a talent shortage in the Netherlands that is expected to persist until 2050. So concludes Ton Wilthagen, professor of Labor Market at Tilburg University, in the new High Tech Campus documentary The Talent Game: "Even if we attract more international knowledge workers, work more hours and involve people from the sidelines in the labor market, the talent shortage will remain." Wilthagen therefore stresses the importance of investing in the right sectors to make the Netherlands and Europe future-proof. Artificial intelligence can contribute to this by increasing labor productivity. 

The documentary The Talent Game: Battlefield or Playground, directed by Ingelou Stol (High Tech Campus Eindhoven) and Vinal Hindocha (House of Yellow), offers a behind-the-scenes look at tech companies ASML, SMART Photonics and Axelera AI. The film shows how companies, from multinationals to startups, find and try to retain technical talent.

An important theme in the documentary is the potential of women in tech, "who can be an important solution to the talent shortage in the industry," Stol said. "Women are an untapped source of expertise." Recent research by McKinsey shows that Europe needs to attract and retain women in tech to remain competitive in technological growth and innovation.

Watch the documentary here: 

Shortage of 70,000 talents in Brainport Eindhoven
The Brainport region faces a shortage of 70,000 people in engineering and IT over the next decade. "It is important that the city of Eindhoven and the surrounding villages and cities remain accessible. Brainport Eindhoven must become a technology hub accessible to everyone, not just the highly educated," said Paul van Nunen, Director of Brainport Development. "That's why we need to build housing for people with different salaries, for example."

In the coming years, the region will need to make significant efforts to attract and train the essential talent needed to address shortages in the technology industry. "We need all the talents of people sitting along the side, we will have to start training a lot of people, attract international knowledge workers, increase labor productivity and increase retention in the engineering sector. And we will have to do that all at the same time." Van Nunen acknowledges that this is a huge challenge, although "I think we've proven that if it can be done anywhere, it's here."

The documentary The Talent Game premiered last Thursday in Eindhoven. 

1-1Premiere of The Talent Game 

Vinal Hindocha en Ingelou Stol (regisseurs The Talent Game)Directors Vinal Hindocha and Ingelou Stol


From left to right: Ton Wilthagen (Tilburg University), Ilse de Graaf (SMART Photonics), Fabrizio Del Maffeo (Axelera AI), Moyra McManus (ASML), Paul van Nunen (Brainport Development).