EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Mobility Centres

Phase: Management
  • Transition to a climate-neutral economy
  • Fostering mobility
  • Matching/Networking
  • Support of SMEs
  • Territorial coordination
  • Training
Last modified: 14 December, 2021
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Mobility Centres


The temporary Regional Mobility Centres of UWV (Dutch Public Employment Service) were set up during the past economic crisis to support employees facing unemployment. The coverage of the centres  extended to all companies, but in practice they were mainly used by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as sectors that had been most affected by the economic crisis, such as construction and transport. Regional Mobility Centres of UWV do not exist anymore. However, at the moment in certain sectors there are comparable (national or regional) mobility centres of a more or less structural nature aiming at job-to-job transitions in a more broader sense. 

Main characteristics

The Regional Mobility Centres of UWV, set up during the crisis, were of a temporary nature. In these centres, a number of regional stakeholders (public as well as private) worked together to provide immediate support to employees facing unemployment. Specifically, the centres helped them to get new jobs in their own sector or another sector, and/or to access training required for further employment. In a regional Mobility Centre, the Mobility Coordination Centre (MCC) contacted employers to identify their needs, as well as options for training and posting employees. Together with the individual employer, the MCC decided on the steps to take and indicated which regional parties could be of help. These centres could also be used in times of labour shortages, to assist managers in recruiting personnel from other parts of the organisation. They could disseminate information among employees regarding job opportunities in other parts of the organisation, and identify employees' training requirements for such job openings.

Regional Mobility Centres of UWV no longer exist. However, nowadays there are various other comparable sectoral (national or regional) mobility centres. These are of a more or less structural nature and aim at job-to-job transitions in a broader sense.


  • National funds
  • Employer

Involved actors

National government
Regional/local government
Public employment services
The UWV (the unemployment office) and UVW Werkbedrijf (the employment office) were involved in the beginning though do not appear to be involved with this measure any longer.
Employer or employee organisations
No information available.
Knowledge centres, educational institutes and their supporters like the former COLO (the cooperating knowledge centres for VET and industry, active in 40 branches), temporary work agencies, career centres and reintegration companies; in most cases mobility centres. Employer (co-funding).


As far as the existing (national or regional) sectoral mobility sectors are concerned, no information on the overall effectiveness is available. Mobility centres today are set up in response to sectoral labour market and educational needs in different regions. For instance, in the east of the country, a regional mobility centre (Regionaal Mobiliteitscentrum (RMC)) was set up to address the increasing shortage of teachers in the area of Twente and surrounding municipalities. In response to the Dutch national Climate Accord, coal factories will slowly start working towards transitioning to more sustainable energy production. As a result, a mobility centre was set up for the workers in the coal mining chain in the area of Westhaven, Mobiliteitscentrum Kolenketen Westhaven. The coal factories started closing end of 2019 and the mobility centre is expected to support between 50 and 60 workers to new work. 

During the past economic crisis, 33 centres were set up all over the country, which have in the meantime been closed. However, new centres may be set up on an ad hoc basis in case of sudden events, like restructuring

According to the director of UWV Werkbedrijf, in the first half of 2009, 431 'work-to-work' projects have been set up by the centres, each of them involving an estimated 10–15 employees. The lack of qualified work coaches had hindered the centres' work during the initiation phase. The Nijmegen centre reported that it protected 800 employees from dismissal across 40 regional companies. The centre in Emmen, in the north-east of the country, reported 500 dismissals from three company closures in August 2008. Half a year later, 62% of  these 500 employees had a new job, and 16% were in a training-with-job guarantee scheme.

During the first five months of 2009, 43,000 people found a new job through a work mobility centre. Up to September 2010, 21,600 employees threatened with dismissal have been assisted in finding another job. Moreover, they have enabled 174,500 unemployed people to find work within a three month period. A total of 1,500 company agreements have been conducted on services regarding mobility.

Although some positive employment effects have been noted, a critical 2009 review by the ‘Financieele Dagblad’ (Financial Daily), doubted Mobility Centres' overall effectiveness. The Regional Mobility Centres of UWV have in the meantime been closed. However, new centres may be set up on an ad hoc basis in case of sudden events, like restructuring. In July 2016, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment reserved €2 million for this purpose.

The UWV collaborates to help set up these centres but does not appear to monitor the number of users, at least not publicly. This is perhaps not surprising as private or sectoral organisations take the lead on the implementation of these centres. The only data available is on the financing which the UWV still contributes to the centres, namely € 2million euro a year. 


Regional and sector stakeholders cooperate to foster employees' job-to-job transition. The regional reality of different sectors in different regions differ and in bringing together regional and local actors, mobility centres allow for a tailored approach to connecting educational institutes, employment services, employers, and job seekers. The scheme facilitates faster provision of existing services. In case of major restructuring, temporary centres seem to be relatively effective.


A weakness is that now most mobility centres spring up through the initiative of private or local level public organisations; while this is part of the strengths of the centres, it also leads to a fragmented organisational landscape. Establishing an overview of the centres in place, let alone their overall effectiveness is very challenging as a result.


The Greenhouse Horticulture Mobility Centres is an example of an existing sectoral mobility centre active at the national level. In this centre, employer and employee organisations cooperate to match demand and labour in the sector in the Netherlands. An example of a n existing regional sectoral mobility centre – apart from the UWV - is RMC Midden-Nederland, run by ten health care institutions in the middle of the Netherlands. RMC Midden-NederlandThis is a mobility and career network offering services for employees with a career demand in voluntary mobility, reintegration, redundancy and outplacement. Another example is the Regional Transfer Centre (RTC) Groningen in which fourteen schoolboards (primary education) work together in the Dutch province of Groningen. The RTC consists of a regional mobility centre (career advice and guidance) and a flexpool of teachers (mainly used for replacement work).
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