“Talented people choose a career. It’s more than just a job.”

october 24, 2018

Finding good personnel is no easy task. Eight Chemelot companies set up the Chemelot Career Center two years ago to attract, train or hire talented people. This Center works very closely with the Brightlands Career Service. Manager Sebastiaan de Reede tells us how. He also talks about how they have started playing a more active role for the other Brightlands campuses.

“Young talented people are no longer automatically choosing the big, established names. They are looking for an inspiring work environment and a good work-life balance. The Brightlands campuses fit the bill when it comes to these kinds of surroundings. The companies based at the Chemelot Industrial Park also benefit from this. The open innovation culture at the campus appeals to so many people. It is refreshing, new and just bursting with ideas; this recipe for success is what you need to attract talent. Unfortunately, there is still not enough movement between the companies and the campus because a job is often a gilded cage. Security and employment benefits slow down this movement. This is why meetings are held regularly between the companies to examine more comparable working conditions.”

More than recruitment alone

Sebastiaan de Reede (photo) prefers to think in terms of careers rather than jobs. Bringing talent in is one thing, keeping good people is at least as important. “Recruitment is just one of our services,” Sebastiaan says. “The Chemelot Career Center does a lot more. We focus on an array of themes involving job market communication. The successful Talent Day event we organize together with Brightlands is one example of how we bring students in contact with the campus and the site here.

Many students are really surprised the first time they come here. We look for ways to get these students to commit to us by offering them career prospects that give them the chance to reach their full potential.”


The traineeship for academics fits well within this overall picture. Sebastiaan: “We offer the trainees a high-quality program that enables them to work for different clients at the site. This gives them a good, broad view of what goes on at Chemelot. The trainees have studied industrial engineering and management, economics, have a background in chemical technology or come from the supply chain, for example. The trainee group is just as diverse as the activities at the site.”


In the past, the knowledge you acquired would still be valid five years later, but these days, this know-how often becomes obsolete after only one and a half years. Sebastiaan: “The ‘shelf life’ of your knowledge is getting shorter and shorter. This also presents us with a challenge. Recent graduates often only have basic knowledge, which means they will need to be trained. Setting up our own Operator Academy, together with CHILL and the Southern Limburg Technical College, is one solution for this. The Academy also allows us to train lateral entry students. Another factor that is very different is that new jobs are created here, positions for which there are no training programs available. This means we have to train these people ourselves. In addition to the standard training programs, we are also looking at modern training solutions. Using virtual reality training techniques for example, we can prepare people for their jobs. We work closely with Brightlands Smart Services Campus in this regard. I also see many opportunities here for ensuring that existing staff remain employable for the long-term by constantly training them in the latest technology.”

Available for all of the campuses

Even though Chemelot Career Center works from the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, other Brightlands campuses can also take advantage of the services the center offers. Sebastiaan: “And they do take advantage of the opportunity. Recently, we handled the recruitment and selection for three job openings at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus. TripleMed also ended up contacting us via Brightlands when they were looking for someone to fill a position in their R&D department. It’s often hard for start-ups and companies that don’t have a high brand value yet to find people. They usually don’t have their own HR department, so it’s a lot easier for them if they can use our service. We don’t have a commercial interest in these activities and the investment for our efforts is minimal.  This is the added value when you’re part of one of the Brightlands campuses. Not only do we offer an infrastructure here that can elevate your company to a higher level, we also have the people who can help you get ahead.”

Brightlands Chemelot Talent Day

The second edition of the Brightlands Chemelot Talent Day will be held next month. During this event, young talents will learn all about training and career opportunities at Chemelot. The event is an initiative of Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Chemelot Industrial Park, Maastricht University, CHILL and more than 25 established companies and knowledge institutes.
During the Brightlands Chemelot Talent Day, MBO (senior secondary vocational education), HBO (higher professional education) and university-level students will learn about their training and career options. 
Through the use of interactive program elements, they will get an impression of what goes on at the Chemelot Industrial Park and Brightlands Chemelot Campus. 

The 2018 Talent Day program is divided between the domains research and development, chemistry and materials. The organizers expect 400 students from secondary, higher professional and university educational programs to attend the event. These students come from the Euregion, and primarily from the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg. 

See the full 2018 Talent Day Program and watch the video

Brightlands Smart Services Campus >

Brightlands Chemelot Campus >

Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus >

Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo >

  overview news & events

Brightlands works on talent development in a variety of different ways. It even did this at two locations simultaneously on Tuesday, October 9: The Tomorrow’s Talent meeting was held at the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo as part of the Dutch Agri Food Week.

Watch the video of the Tomorrow's Talent event

The Young Professionals at the Brightlands campuses in Heerlen and Geleen held the Young Professionals event with Ben Tiggelaar appearing at the campus in Geleen. 

Watch the aftermovie