Creating career opportunities for young students


How can you help young people not suited to classroom learning get the qualifications and life skills they need? In the Netherlands, ISS is addressing this issue with an on-the-job training scheme run with Accenture and PwC. 

People learn in different ways. While traditional education is successful for some young people, the rigid routines of the classroom can be hard for others – a barrier that can stop them achieving their full potential.

Working in collaboration with Accenture, PwC and ROC van Amsterdam College in the Netherlands, ISS has come up with a unique solution – one that could potentially help thousands of young people, who may otherwise have dropped out, build a successful career.

“Some people just don’t suit classroom learning,” says Edwin Klinkert, who runs the education programme at ISS. “Our programme gives them a chance to learn the theory and work at the same time.”

The unique opportunities of hybrid learning

Facility Manager on the Job Training has been created by ISS and ROC van Amsterdam College. The two-and-a-half-year course gives young people aged 16-21 the chance to learn and experience all aspects of ISS’s work – from front desk service and IT support to procurement and people management.

As well as on-the-job training at Accenture or PwC, one-to-one coaching and two internships, students also study facility management theory, Dutch, English and maths online. It’s a complete educational package designed specifically for young people who need to learn by doing.


Hybrid learning is the future. It has to be.

Edwin Klinkert, Project Manager House of Hospitality ISS and Region Coordinator Inclusion

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goal on Education – and the goals of customers

The course is now in its second year – with a new group having started in August –and feedback from students has been extremely positive. And it’s not just the students who benefit, as Edwin explains.

“Both Accenture and PwC have really got behind the project. Education is an important part of the culture and values at both companies. It’s also a UN Sustainable Development Goal which both companies support, so they’ve been very supportive and keen to take part.”

ISS first got involved in the project as part of House of Hospitality, a drive by the hospitality industry in the Greater Amsterdam Area to find 25,000 new employees in the next few years. As well as giving young people a route into the hospitality industry, the initiative has also had unexpected benefits within ISS.

“At ISS, we want young people in our teams, as they bring different energy and ideas to the workplace,” says Edwin. “But the course has also given a lot to the older colleagues doing the coaching as well. In fact, many colleagues choose to do it. They find they enjoy passing on what they know, and it gives them extra motivation when they come into work.”

The great thing is that you immediately get responsibility. You have to come up with solutions, answer questions. There is always something. You are thrown in the deep end, but at the same time there is always someone who guides you.

Student working for ISS at Accenture

Life-long learning

When asked about the future of the course, Edwin is clear:

“We want to help young people at the start of their careers, so the first goal is for the students to graduate successfully and find suitable employment – with ISS or elsewhere,” he explains. “This kind of hybrid learning is the future. It has to be. The world is changing rapidly, and we have to teach young people how to learn and work at the same time, so they can develop throughout their lives.”

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