Although PostNL plans to cut more than two to three hundred jobs in 2023, according to Professor Arnoud Boot, this should be seen as an opportunity for the rest of the economy. ‘The Dutch economy has essentially been short of people for 25 years, so we need to start thinking about how we use people’s supply.’
According to Boot, it is not the mail deliverers on which PostNL wants to save, but rather on all kinds of office functions. According to Boot, the postal company does run the risk of exhausting existing office workers, so that no one gets around to anything and everyone is under great stress. On the other hand, he emphasizes that the amount of people in hidden jobs is also large. ‘These are functions that are superfluous, in this case possibly office functions. But that number is huge,’ says Boot.
Boot sees this development not only in the office sector, but also in education. ‘There is too little growth in the manual directions,’ he says. ‘Just look at the MBA. We almost pushed that aside as stigmatizing, because you don’t want to send your child there, do you? While we need people who can do things with their hands.’
Boot therefore criticizes the attitude that people prefer to take on a ‘bullshit job’. “It is often said that parcel deliverers or baggage handlers have bullshit jobs,” he continues. ‘But how many bullshit jobs do we have in the office? Or with influencers who sit behind their camera all day and actually do nothing at all except keep people away from their work.’
He calls for strengthening the supply side of the economy. For example, he believes that more innovation is needed, that education should ensure that it is not stigmatizing and that schools and companies should be able to meet each other. ‘Don’t separate those MBO schools from ‘higher vocational education’, which often leads to bullshit jobs. That’s how we get that innovation.’