Among the Dutch educational sectors, the MBO sector maintains the closest relations with the labour market. Colleges have frequent contacts with companies and organisations where students work orobtain their work experience. Regional trade and industry maintain solid relationships with the colleges about the quality and content of the courses on offer.
These contacts between colleges and companies are extremely important in ensuring a close match between the education that colleges offer and the skills that companies need. On the national level, the needs of trade and industry are brought in line with the education and training programmes through the ‘Foundation of Vocational Education and Labour Market’ (SBB), where employers and education are equally represented. Together they advise the Minister of Education about the core subjects of the VET system, such as the qualification structure, the examinations and the requirements of the work experience periods.