4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector
As a result of state budget reductions, subsidised jobs, very popular in the non-profit and cultural sector, were abolished. On the other hand, State Secretary Medy van der Laan (2003-2006, Cabinet Balkenende II) expected to create more jobs by stimulating cooperation between artists and creative workers and the cultural industry, in other words: in the commercial sector. A strong cultural sector "that can stand on its own two feet, that has firm roots in society, that pursues good governance, and that generates more of its own income" remains a priority in the policy of Minister Ronald Plasterk (in office since 2007).
The shifting political attention can be explained by the expectation that most artistic and cultural jobs are to be found in the cultural industries. According to a report on cultural employment in Europe, published by Eurostat in 2007, the share of cultural employment in overall employment is considerable in the Netherlands: in 2005 this was 3.8% of total employment or 306 000 jobs. This share is the highest in the European Union. Compared with a previous survey by Eurostat from 2002, cultural employment in the Netherlands grew by 57 000 jobs between 2002 and 2005, or 8%. In the cultural workforce, the highly educated are overrepresented: about 45% are university graduates as compared to 31% of the total workforce.
The percentage of employers and self-employed in the cultural sector is more than three times higher than in other jobs: 35% to 11%. Cultural employment, however, seems to be less stable: 20% consists are temporary jobs, compared with 14 % of total employment.
About 500 artists work annually in projects which are organised by Artists&Cultural Entrepreneurship [Kunstenaars&CO], in collaboration with their partners from the art world and both public and private sectors. Apart from work experience, these projects also provide artists with new networks. For the clients, these projects constitute a creative stimulus (for other projects of the Artists&Cultural Entrepreneurship, see chapter 4.2.8, chapter 7.3, chapter 8.1 and chapter 8.3.1).