ACCESS Patron: Personalised service for Int’l employees
2021-03-02 | By Olivia van den Broek-Neri
ACCESS introduced a Patron Programme that offers companies the opportunity to get personalised service for their newly-arrived international employees. In this article, three organisations share their experiences of being an ACCESS patron.
Delft University of Technology’s Coming to Delft Service Team is part of HR Services, and addresses the needs of appointed international employees and their accompanying partners and families. The team not only shares practical information, but also organises workshops to prepare partners for the Dutch labour market and hosts (networking) events. Ideas shared by the community are followed up on and initiatives are being embraced.
ACCESS organises a Coming to Delft Event bi-annually for TU Delft and the municipality of Delft to welcome new internationals to the Delft region, and supports their monthly New Joiners Drinks. “During these events new international employees of TU Delft can ask all sorts of questions to the volunteers,” says Fabiënne Scholte-Buijs, one of the advisors of the Coming to Delft Service Team.
“ACCESS helps by sharing their experiences to our new international employees and their families,” she says. “If we have questions from internationals we can’t answer we connect to ACCESS’ helpdesk, or refer to the extensive resources on ACCESS’ website.” Additionally, the opportunities to volunteer with ACCESS are attractive to the accompanying spouses. “ACCESS provides spouses with a work and life experience in the Netherlands and is therefore a valuable contribution to one’s job search in the Netherlands as an accompanying spouse,” she says.
Moving forward, TU Delft looks to continue their partnership with ACCESS: “It is a solid relationship, where we each year evaluate our cooperation and check based on our experience if changes need to be made,” says Fabiënne.
Expat Help is a full-service relocation company with offices located in Amsterdam and London. Expat Help became a partner and an ACCESS patron in 2018.
“ACCESS became a valuable partner and trusted resource of Expat Help during the EMA (European Medicines Agency0 relocation project,” says Roz Fremder, Owner/Director of Expat Help. Her company uses ACCESS’s national network of service providers to find her clients referrals to healthcare professionals, service providers, and sports clubs. “ACCESS has a proven track record in providing resources and accomplished business professionals, enabling Expat Help to deliver high-quality solutions to clients.
ACCESS and Expat Help share the same dedication to delivering high-quality, personalised services to the expat community and are working together to adapt how we deliver those services given the impact of the pandemic,” says Roz. “I would highly recommend ACCESS to anyone in the relocation industry looking for additional support and resources,” she says. “ACCESS can be an extension of the core relocation services provided. These resources and connections would be nearly impossible to attain through one’s own initiative.”
European Medicines Agency
The mission of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is to foster scientific excellence in the evaluation and supervision of medicines, for the benefit of public and animal health in the European Union (EU).
Fergal Cooney, HR Specialist, European Medicines Agency, learnt about ACCESS during a relocation project. “Their work was highlighted to us by INAmsterdam and by Expat Help,” he says. “Then we noticed that its spread was even beyond Amsterdam during a relocation visit to The Hague, and we realised that having a partnership of this kind will be useful.”
A partnership develops another channel for staff members to get information, and guidance on life in the Netherlands and will be especially attractive for the families of employees. “This is a way for us to help staff members and members of their families to develop their own Netherlands know-how,” he says. This will make their settling in process easier, which he sees as mutually beneficial for the employees and the organisation. “If people are content it shows in their productivity and in the workplace,” Fergal says.
The current restrictions in place due to Covid-19 have made it more difficult for newcomers to settle into the Netherlands. “People often gather information via social events, but if you don’t have those events, where do you ask those questions?” asks Deborah Valentine, ACCESS Executive Director.
“Companies have seen the difficulties that they had convincing accompanying partners to accept relocation, and this programme can help,” says Deborah. This service can be especially useful for companies who do not have time to assist newly-arrived internationals, but would like to contribute to a better settling in process for their staff, and families.
Currently, ACCESS has four patrons. Patrons are recognised in the ACCESS magazine and are encouraged to mention the programme in their recruitment policy and literature. The programme can be tailored to the company’s needs and the fee is determined by the size of the company.
To find out more about ACCESS’s Patron Programme, contact Deborah Valentine at email@example.com.
About the author
California-native Olivia van den Broek-Neri works as Project Coordinator Communications & Events at Holland Expat Center South in Eindhoven, and was previously an ACCESS volunteer.