Adapting to the new COVID-19 reality: the Buzinezzclub and Werkclub

15 June 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has a devastating impact on people and economies around the world. The Netherlands is no different: the virus has heavily hit the country and the effects are likely to be felt in the years to come. The only way to overcome these dire times is by working closely together and adapting to the new reality that confronts us.

Founded in 2009 during the global financial crisis, Buzinezzclub experienced the effects of a crisis firsthand. During the crisis, our team of trainers gained experience in providing young people with the skills and support needed to find a job in trying times. In the past years, the Buzinezzclub and Werkclub have successfully trained over 2000 young people for the Dutch job market. Our organization greatly feels the need to use this experience to collaborate with and support young people (our ‘members’) to find decent work as well as to share our lessons with others. It will allow us to come out of this crisis together.

Here are three ways we changed the way we work to adapt to the current climate:

New ways of training and coaching by using online methods

Our usual training courses depend heavily on group dynamics and learning amongst peers.

Due to the social distancing requirements, our organization quickly shifted to online coaching. We had already started providing online options for the past couple of years, giving our former members the opportunity to keep learning past the curriculum, but these courses have become especially handy now. To meet the increased demand for e-courses, online coaching and group activities, our team of trainers developed a daily schedule of webinars with different themes and subjects. This has been received extremely well by our members many of whom tune in regularly. The courses try to work through the current uncertainties by focusing on job-related, practical skills.

Working together in dire times: the need for connections

Our huge network of volunteer coaches supports our members in one-on-one sessions. Our trainers and coaches work closely together to keep the most vulnerable participants on track in these dire times. Of course, we keep our network updated with every step we take. We send tips, tricks and updates about the latest measures by the government and how they impact our methods and the future of our members. Keeping our communication strong, open and transparent is key.

A new angle to our biggest event: sharing knowledge with others

Before the coronavirus outbreak, our organization was in the midst of planning our biggest event: the ClubForum. The goal of the event is to bring the most important decision-makers, politicians and experts together to amplify the voices of vulnerable people on the Dutch job market. Needless to say, the event had to be postponed to the end of the year and we are reorganizing the program to align with the new circumstances. We are working closely with our stakeholders and keynote speakers to look for relevant topics and answers to tackle the effects of coronavirus on the job market.

Even though the impact of the coronavirus has been colossal, we stay confident about the future. We envision a lot of creativity and new collaborations to tackle the current crisis. Using our trusted methods in new ways is difficult, but inspiring at the same time. The Buzinezzclub and Werkclub will do our best to stay focused on our goals, supporting young people in their search for independence and decent work.

By Coen van der Steen (Buzinezzclub & Werkclub)

The Buzinezzclub is an organization in the Netherlands that provides training and coaching for youth who are currently living on welfare. Their main goal is to lift ‘members’, guiding them towards financial self-sufficiency and growth. Members can either choose to look for an education, a job, or start their own business. Since 2009, hundreds of young people across the Netherlands have participated and many of their former members are now building impressive careers, have started their own successful business, or taken steps towards a brighter future by choosing an education that fits their personal talents and ambitions.

This article is part of the Decent Jobs for Youth Blog Series: Youth Rights & Voices. The Blog Series highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young women and men in the world of work and discusses action-oriented policy responses and solutions. If you would like to comment or contribute, please contact


Coen van der Steen

Communication Manager

Buzinezzclub & Werkclub

Contributing partner

Year of publication

15 June 2020