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Your spouse's career - The Dual Career Programme

Leiden University offers a Dual Career Programme (DCP) to assist the life partners of new academic staff (on pay-roll) in finding employment in The Netherlands. The programme is offered in close cooperation with nearby universities of Delft and Rotterdam.

Recruiting highly talented scientific staff is a continuous ambition of Leiden University. In this ambition we find it important to support and facilitate staff, to ensure ‘scientific fitness’ and reach mutual engagement.

Employment for life partners

The Service Centre International Staff (SCIS) ensures all new international staff is guided into an easy landing within the university and, more general, The Netherlands. We notice academic staff is often joined by a partner who is also high-level educated and is interested in pursuing an independent professional career. Through the Dual Career Programme (DCP) Leiden University offers assistance to these life partners in finding employment.

When am I eligible for the Dual Career Programme?

You may qualify for participation in the DCP if:

  • Your life partner is a scientific staff member who holds a pay roll position. 
  • At the time of submitting the request for support, the staff member is not in the Netherlands for more than one year and the appointment has at least a two-year term.
  • Your English language proficiency is at least at B1 level (advisable).

Guidance, information and training

The DCP aims to facilitate the participants in the programme in their search for a job on the Dutch labor market.

Examples of our services are:

  • Personal guidance (e.g. a personal interview with a career counselor)
  • Information provision (e.g. a labor market orientation workshop)
  • Training (e.g. job application training sessions)

The intention is that the participant succeeds in finding a job, using our support.

Dual career programme

Phase 1 (Orientation) in short:

  • Intake and follow-up interview with career counselor, creating a personal action plan.
  • Drawing up a personal profile

Intake career counselor

In the orientation phase you will start getting acquainted with your career counselor. Our career counselors are professionals, who have had extensive training and are specialized in career development areas. In exceptional cases we could offer support over phone and via Skype if you are unable to meet with us in person. We prefer, however, to meet you in person.

At the start of the first meeting in person, the career counselor will have read your request to participate and your curriculum vitae. The DCP steps will be explained to you and you will be asked to sign your participation agreement.

Drawing up a personal profile

You will have some (confidential) meetings in which you then together explore who you are, what you want, what blind spots you may have with regard to the Dutch labour market and/or necessary competencies, and draft a plan how to proceed.

Thinking about starting up your own business? The Dutch Chamber of Commerce provides information on the local laws and regulations before getting started.

Phase 2 (Training) in short: learn to highlight why you are a perfect match for the job, whether it is advertised or not.

In the second phase you will participate in trainings that enhance your knowledge and confidence to enter the Dutch job market. They may range from taking a course in Dutch (advisable!) or English, to special trainings in doing job interviews.

You can get feedback on your cover letter and CV, as well as your LinkedIn profile. You can learn which different elements to highlight when applying for a job in the academic area, public sector or private field.

Phase 3 (LDE Network) in short: expanding your network

And the power of networking is never to be underestimated. Leiden University aims to bridge the gap to the Dutch labor market, together with TU/Delft and Erasmus University.

We try to interest companies in the region for partners of our international staff by:

  • networking
  • offering lectures
  • creating work experience places
  • offering internships 

Please note: The programme offers guidance in finding a job, but unfortunately there is no guarantee. The participant is and remains responsible.

Job sites and agencies

Is your spouse a NON-EU national? If you (as a staff member of Leiden University) are registered as a sponsor with the IND, he/she will have full access rights to the Dutch labour market.

A good way to find a job is through the following job sites:

If you prefer some help in finding a job you can also contact a temp agency (uitzendbureau) or recruitment agency. Temp agencies often have temporary work. If you are looking for work at a Bachelor or Master degree level, you might prefer to get in touch with a recruitment agency. There are several recruitment agencies that specialise in non-Dutch job seekers:

Starting a business in the Netherlands

Perhaps your spouse is contemplating starting their own business in the Netherlands. In this webinar (4 parts of 15 minutes) you will find useful information about starting your own business.

Benefit of finding a job before you come to the Netherlands

Please note that if you manage to find a job before you move to the Netherlands you may be eligible for the 30% tax rule. Under specific conditions your new Dutch employer is entitled to pay out a maximum of 30% of your income in the form of an allowance for a temporary stay in the Netherlands or abroad. This allowance for so-called extra-territorial expenses is tax-free. If you sign your contract with your new employer while still abroad you may be eligible. If you find a job after you have moved to the Netherlands you cannot apply for the 30% rule.

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